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Dyson picks Singapore for car plant

Singapore sling: Dyson has released this image of its proposed car factory in Singapore where it already makes high-speed electric motors.

UK innovator Dyson set to go after Tesla with EVs built in Singapore in 2021

24 Oct 2018

BRITISH electric appliance manufacturer Dyson Technology has chosen Singapore for its first automotive factory under a $3.67 billion plan to bring an electric car to market by 2021 where it will go head to head with the likes of Tesla.
 
The decision puts Dyson’s manufacturing hub on Australia’s doorstep, and with right-hand-drive vehicles a near certainty for the United Kingdom and Southeast Asia, Dyson car sales in this market appear to be a natural fit.
 
The company’s automotive trademarks – Dyson and Digital Motor – are already pending in Australia.
 
Singapore has no other car factory and, with hefty sales taxes on cars sold there, could even be considered to be anti-car.
 
However, Dyson already has an electric motor factory in the island state where the government has gone out of its way to attract high-tech manufacturing for products that even include Rolls-Royce aircraft engines.
 
Singapore also has a free-trade agreement with China, which could be a major factor in the factory decision.
 
Dyson CEO Jim Rowan told employees in a memo: “Singapore offers access to high-growth markets as well as an extensive supply chain and a highly skilled workforce.
 
“Singapore has a comparatively high cost base, but also great technology expertise and focus.
 
“It is therefore the right place to make high-quality technology-loaded machines, and the right place to make our electric vehicle.”
 
Dyson also has manufacturing plants in Malaysia and the Philippines. 
 
Dyson is designing and engineering its new electric car range in the UK where the company is converting an old World War 2 airfield at Hullavington, Wiltshire, into an engineering centre.
 
Old hangars are being refurbished to house many of the 400-strong product development team at the airfield that once was the base for Spitfires, Mosquitos, Lancasters and other aircraft in the 1940s.
 
The airfield will also feature test tracks, including – interestingly – an off-road course that points to a future SUV.
 
Dyson triggered speculation that it was planning a move into car-making when it hired Aston Martin product development director Ian Minards in 2016. It subsequently confirmed the project last year.
 
Best known for its innovative vacuum cleaners, hair dryers and fans, Dyson is advertising for more engineers, designers and other specialist staff for the automotive project, some for the UK product development centre and others for the Singapore facility.
 
Ultimately, Dyson expects to have up to 2000 employees at the Hullavington facility.
 
So far, Dyson has not said what type of vehicles it plans to produce, but Britain’s Autocar speculates that three models are in the pipeline, starting with a high-end all-electric luxury car and – later – an SUV.
 
The two-storey Singapore factory is scheduled to be finished in 2020, with sales to start in 2021.

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