Wednesday 23 January 2019
James Dyson is a vocal supporter of Brexit. Photo: CNN

British entrepreneur James Dyson was a prominent supporter of Brexit. Now, he’s moving his company to Singapore. Dyson, best known for their innovative high-end appliances like their range of vacuum cleaners and airblade hand dryers, announced Tuesday that it will relocate its headquarters from the United Kingdom to Singapore to be closer to its customers and manufacturing base.

“This shift has been occurring for some time and will quicken as Dyson brings its electric vehicle to market,” the company said in a statement. Dyson denied the move had anything to do with Brexit, but it’s hard not to read too much into the timing of it all. And of course there are some who aren’t as willing to give Dyson the benefit of the doubt:

“We have been talking about our pivot to Asia for some time,” CEO Jim Rowan said in a statement. “Asia represents [Dyson’s] largest and fastest growing market of the world,” he said. “Asian consumers are hungry for the most advanced technology and it is the largest electric vehicle market in the world so this trend only will quicken.”

But the move is likely to be seen as a major blow to Britain as it prepares to leave the European Union on 29 March. Some of the biggest companies in the country, including leading global carmakers, have warned that a disorderly exit will snarl supply chains and force them to move jobs and facilities out of Britain.

Some have speculated that Dyson will face backlash for this unpopular move which will result in declining sales, but if it’s dollar signs he’s seeing in Asia, it may not make a difference.

Dyson said in its statement that it would continue to invest and recruit in the United Kingdom. In August, the company said it would invest US$150 million (£116 million) to build test tracks and offices for 2,000 workers at a former Royal Air Force base in England that would be used to develop the electric car. Dyson previously announced plans to build its electric cars in Singapore.

Source: Hadas Gold/CNN International

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