Dyson plans to launch its first electric car in 2021, but it won’t be built in the UK.
In a leaked memo sent to staff by Dyson chief executive Jim Rowan, it emerged the company will build the vehicle at a new plant in Singapore. He says the proximity to Asian “high-growth markets” has led to the decision.
Within the memo seen by the Guardian, Rowan told Dyson employees the devision was “based on supply chains, access to markets, and the availability of the expertise that will help us achieve our ambitions.”
That’s despite company founder and prominent Brexit-supporter Sir James Dyson pledging that Brexit would “supercharge British technology and refocus minds on global trade.”
While the entrepreneur is also on record claiming leaving the EU would create jobs in the UK, over 1,100 positions will now go to workers in Singapore, where the current workforce will double.
Prior to the referendum, he said: “We will create more wealth and more jobs by being outside the EU. We will be in control of our destiny. And control, I think, is the most important thing in life and business.”
The firm does have 400 UK staff working on the project at an old airfield near the company’s HQ in Wiltshire, where it has built test tracks. However, it now appears that won’t be expanding significantly.
In another memo sent to staff back in September, Dyson committed $2 billion to the endeavour. Sir James said: “At this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product.”
Dyson is believed to have been working on the project for over a decade, and its official entry into the market comes at a time of intense competition. Elon Musk’s Tesla leads the way, with the major auto manufacturers quickly changing tack towards the all-electric future. Major tech giants Apple and Google are also working on electric, self-driving vehicles.
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