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Dyson Settles on Singapore as Location for Production of its Electric Vehicle

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【Summary】Dyson, the British vacuum cleaner company, has announced plans to build an automotive factory to develop its first electric vehicle in Singapore that will open in 2020.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 28, 2018 9:00 AM PT
Dyson Settles on Singapore as Location for Production of its Electric Vehicle
author: Vineeth Joel Patel   

Dyson – yes, the vacuum cleaner company – announced plans to develop an electric car back in 2017. From the beginning, the company looked outside to hire people that knew what they were doing in the industry. Dyson first went for Ian Minards, Aston Martin's product development director. Dyson also brought BMW's global director of sales and marketing, Dr. Ian Robertson, onboard as a non-executive director. Clearly, Dyson was working swiftly to get development of its electric car underway.

Dyson's Electric-Vehicle Plans 

The company, though, wasn't interested in going down the easy route of partnering with another large company to build EVs. Instead, as it pointed out a few years ago, it was planning to build its own hardware from the ground up. The idea, was to be able to provide consumers with cars that had differing levels of range, all with more range than existing EVs. 

Earlier this year, Dyson reportedly had $2.8 billion to develop three electric cars. The first electric car was to be used to gauge potential customer base and ensure that its supply chain was working properly for the more mass-produced second and third vehicle. 

Since that news in February, things have been quiet for Dyson – until now. The company has settled on a country – sort of – for a factory where it will develop its electric vehicle. While we originally thought Dyson would build its electric cars in Britain, the vacuum company had decided to go with Singapore. 

Why Choose Singapore? 

Along with the announcement that Singapore would be the location for its new factory, the company stated that the factory would be finished by 2020. It also claimed that it would stick to its original plans of rolling out its first electric vehicle in 2021. 

The decision to go with Singapore is an interesting one for Dyson for a few reasons. As Bloomberg points out, Singapore isn't home to any car-manufacturing plants. The city-state is also one of the priciest places in the world to purchase a vehicle. Despite these drawbacks, Dyson will have access to the second-largest container port in the world, reports Bloomberg. Singapore is also a manufacturing hub for some companies looking to develop high-tech components. 

While the rest of the world may be scratching its head at Dyson's decision to go with Singapore, the vacuum company already uses the location as a hub for its digital motors. The company, as Bloomberg points out, has roughly 1,100 employees in the area. The city-state also has an impressive number of talent and intellectual-property protections, which would help Dyson start its electric-vehicle project from scratch. 

Bloomberg claims that Singapore also has a free trade agreement with China, which has become the largest market for cars and electric vehicles. While Tesla is looking to open a factory in China, Dyson's founder, James Dyson, isn't a fan of the idea, as he's worried about the IP theft in the country. 

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