Last year, the British electronics and popular vacuum manufacturing company Dyson announced that they will be starting an electric vehicle brand completely from ground up. This 100% self-funded project by Dyson founder, James Dyson announced to the global press that his company would be building its first car manufacturing plant in Singapore and the target was to have full production moving by 2021.
Dyson also added that the two-storey factory in land scarce Singapore would be part of a £2.5 billion (SG$4.3 billion) global investment in new technology, in which it is focusing on manufacturing and assembly.
Dyson unveiled to the media that he planned to roll out a range of EVs, including a high-end luxury model to compete with Tesla as well as two less expensive vehicles designed for the mass market in-line with the Zoe and Leaf.
Now comes new that Dyson is shutting down the EV project in Singapore and scrapping the electric car project competely.
This was the release yesterday. “In an e-mail to employees, founder and CEO James Dyson said its engineers had developed a “fantastic electric car” but it could not hit the roads because it was not “commercially viable”.
He added that he has been trying hard to find a buyer for the project but has been unsuccessful so far.
Dyson said that it’s “not the first project which has changed direction”, and confirmed that it’s closing its electric car facilities in both United Kingdom and Singapore.
In the UK, about 500 people were employed to work on this project. It’s not clear how many were hired in Singapore, but Dyson has started looking for roles like automotive design engineers and free-trade agreement specialists for the proposed plant since May.
According to Dyson, about 20 people in Singapore have been affected by the closure of the automotive division.
It is currently working on finding alternative roles within the firm for the affected staff, and assures that there are sufficient vacancies to integrate them into its core home business.
With the closure of this automotive project, Dyson said that the intended £2.5 billion (SG$4.3 billion) would now be channelled towards developing new technology.
He also hopes to grow The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology to groom its own class of engineers. The firm previously shared that it is considering Singapore as one of the locations for the site of its first university outside of the UK.
The funding will also be used to fuel business expansion in Singapore as well as other global locations.
“We will concentrate on the formidable task of manufacturing solid state batteries and other fundamental technologies which we have identified: sensing technologies, vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and AI offer us significant opportunities which we must grab with both hands,” he said.
“In summary, our investment appetite is undiminished and we will continue to deepen our roots in both the UK and Singapore.”
So, it is clear that Dyson, a smart business man has realized that electric vehicle production is the future….but it is still a long way from being profitable with global auto brands manufacturing and selling EV’s still trying to make their business case run with profits.