The company denies that the move is related to Brexit, following both Sony and Panasonic moving European headquarters functions from the UK to mainland Europe in recent weeks.
Instead Dyson insists that it will continue to invest in R&D in the UK, including a new lab for battery development. “This does not change any of our investment or recruitment plans,” said Jim Rowan, CEO of Dyson. The company currently employs 5853 engineers across the UK and Asia, and the Singapore Development Centre will double in size. It also has engineering centres in London and Bristol that will continue to lead on technology development said Rowan.
One driver for the move is the proposed electric car business that will be based in Malaysia. While R&D and testing of the car and batteries will be at the £550m site at Hullavington Airfield in the UK, the manufacturing will be in Asia run by a senior executive from Nissan and its luxury car brand Infinti. The other is a lower corporate tax rate than the UK or other European countries. Founder Sir James Dyson (above) has been a vocal supporter of the UK leaving the European Union.
The news of the move came as the company announced profits of £1.1bn ($1.5bn), up 33% on last year on turnover of £4.4bn ($5.7bn), up 28%.