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Dyson set to make electric cars in S’pore

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James Dyson poses with products at a hotel in Paris in 2018. AFP

Dyson set to make electric cars in S’pore

British electric appliance pioneer Dyson said Tuesday it had picked Singapore as the site for its first electric car plant as part of a £2.5 billion ($3.3 billion) global investment drive in new technology.

Dyson, founded and owned by Brexit-backing billionaire entrepreneur James Dyson, said the factory was scheduled for completion in 2020.

The company, best known for its cordless vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and fans, is aiming to launch electric vehicles in 2021.

“The decision of where to make our car is complex, based on supply chains, access to markets and the availability of the expertise that will help us achieve our ambitions,” Dyson chief executive Jim Rowan said in a statement.

“Our existing footprint and team in Singapore, combined with the nation’s significant advanced manufacturing expertise, made it a frontrunner. Singapore also offers access to high-growth markets as well as an extensive supply chain and a highly-skilled workforce,” he said.

“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 announced his decision to launch electric cars last year – a sector in which the company will face stiff competition from established players.

Electric vehicles are increasing in popularity as governments worldwide drive forward plans to gradually phase out polluting petrol and diesel cars.

Dyson said in an interview earlier this year that electric cars were already available to order and the manufacturing location would be either in Britain or Asia.

The company said that 2017 operating profit surged by almost one third to around £800 million, aided by fast growth in China, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Revenues leap 40 per cent to £3.5 billion.

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