British manufacturer Dyson is moving its headquarters to Singapore, where it plans to build electric cars from 2021 in a £2 billion ($2.6 billion) development program.
Owner and billionaire inventor Sir James Dyson, 71, says he wants the company to be closer to Asia, its biggest and fastest-growing market with about a third of global sales.
The company is best known for developing the bag-less vacuum cleaner.
Dyson has assembled a team of more than 400 people for the EV project. Media reports say the vehicle will be powered by a solid-state battery, possibly provided by Sakti.
The company is expanding its manufacturing plant in Singapore to build the EV, making it the first car plant for the island state, which has free-trade agreements with China, the U.S. and the European Union.
Dyson says it will raise R&D spending, double the size of its Singapore Technology Center and invest hundreds of millions of pounds in robotics.
Former Infiniti President Roland Krueger will join Dyson in April to oversee the EV business.
CEO Jim Rowan says the move has nothing to do with Brexit – it’s to make the company future-proof. “We would describe ourselves as a global technology company, and in fact, we have been a global company for some time,” he says.