Dyson Scraps Plans for Electric Car After Failed Attempt at Sale

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(Bloomberg) — Dyson Ltd. said it’s abandoning plans to build an electric car because the company couldn’t find a way to make it commercially viable.“We are sad to announce a proposal to end our automotive project,” Dyson said in a Twitter post. “The Dyson automotive team has developed a fantastic electric car, but unfortunately it is not commercially viable.”James Dyson, the company’s founder and chairman, said in a letter to staff Thursday that he had tried to find a buyer for the project but has “unfortunately been unsuccessful so far.”U.K.-based Dyson, best known for pricey home products such as vacuum cleaners, hair dryers and air purifiers, first disclosed plans to build an electric car in 2017, saying it would invest 2 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) on the vehicle and accompanying batteries. Last year, the company said it would build a facility in Singapore to develop the car it hoped to introduce by 2021. Earlier this year, Dyson said it planned to relocate its head office to Singapore.But Dyson was going to go up against formidable competitors, including electric-car pioneer Tesla Inc., General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG, which has vowed a $33 billion push to bring battery-powered autos to the masses. Apple Inc. has had an automotive project since about 2016, although it is said to have scaled back its ambitions.Experts had questioned Dyson’s costly plans to build an electric car plant in Singapore. The tiny city-state has some of the highest average salaries in the world and Ford Motor Co. closed its factory there about 40 years earlier, effectively ending car production on the island.Dyson said it will continue its 2.5 billion-pound investment program into new technology, and will concentrate on manufacturing solid state batteries and other technologies including machine learning and robotics.“In summary, our investment appetite is undiminished and we will continue to deepen our roots in both the U.K. and Singapore,” Dyson said.Earlier this year Dyson said it had more than 500 people working on the project. Dyson said it would try to find “alternative roles” within the company for as many of the team as possible.–With assistance from Craig Trudell.To contact the reporters on this story: Molly Schuetz in New York at mschuetz9@bloomberg.net;Yoolim Lee in Singapore at yoolim@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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