The British firm Dyson, famous for its innovative vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, has chosen Singapore as the manufacturing site for its upcoming EV. Dyson, which is investing some $2.6 billion in its effort to expand into automobiles, says it will complete the factory by 2020, and hopes to bring its first model to market by 2021.
Singapore might seem an unlikely spot to build cars – it currently has no auto plants, and is one of the most expensive places in the world to buy an automobile. However, the city-state does boast the world’s second-largest container port, and is a manufacturing hub for other high-tech products, including Rolls Royce aircraft engines. Singapore also has a free trade agreement with China, by far the world’s largest market for EVs.
Dyson already has a manufacturing hub in Singapore that focuses on digital motors and employs about 1,100 people. James Dyson told Bloomberg that his company’s “center of gravity” has tilted toward Asia, which generated almost three quarters of revenue growth last year.
“The decision of where to make our car is complex, based on supply chains [and] access to markets,” Dyson CEO Jim Rowan said in a note to staff. He cited “the availability of the expertise” as a plus.
Dyson plans to build the new plant itself rather than subcontract the work.
Dyson has yet to reveal any details of its planned EVs. Construction is still ongoing at the company’s facility at Hullavington, England. The plant, on the site of a former airfield, now has 400 employees, and features extensive test tracks.