Earlier this year, British manufacturer Dyson announced they were moving their corporate headquarter from Britain to Singapore.
The company also unveiled plans to manufacture electric cars in Singapore.
The factory, previously said to be ready by 2020, faced premature closure as the founder, James Dyson, cancelled the electric cars project.
Unable to find a buyer for electric cars project
In a letter to staff, Dyson wrote that the Dyson Automotive team had tried very hard but could not find a way to make this project commercially viable.
They were unable to find a buyer for the project and so they had to make this “difficult decision” to scrap the plan.
The letter also emphasised that this was not a failure of the product or the team.
Minimal disruption to Singapore
The electric cars project employed a total of 523 people in the U.K. and Singapore, of which about 500 are in the UK.
According to CNA, about 20 employees in the automotive division will be affected.
The company will help these employees to find “alternative roles within Dyson” and most of them will be transferred to their core Home business.
The £2.5 billion (S$3.79 billion) that was intended for the electric cars project will be devoted to other development projects, including battery technology.
Dyson added that “this is not the first project which has changed direction and it will not be the last”.
He concluded the letter by promising to “continue to deepen their roots in both the UK and Singapore”.
According to The Straits Times, the Economic Development Board (EDB) stated that the disruption to Dyson’s operation and workforce in Singapore will be minimal as the project was called off at an early stage.
Dyson will continue to focus on areas such as sensor technology, robotics and artificial intelligence.
Top image from Dyson UK