Friday, 11 October 2019 01:34

Dyson scraps electric car plans - but investment in Malmesbury will remain, say experts Featured

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INVESTMENT into Malmesbury will continue to be made despite James Dyson’s announcement that work on the company’s first electric car will stop, say business experts in Wiltshire.

This decision comes after the company's board say they have discovered the electric car Dyson has been working on is not commercially viable.

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) director Paddy Bradely said: “I think the sheen might have come off them slightly but Dyson is still a shining light, it is the biggest business investor in research and development in the area.

"As an inventor you make things, but being an entrepreneur is making a business case out of this. They have quite rightly said they have the technology which is really good but they can’t make the numbers stack up. It is a brave business decision and it is a difficult industry to compete with larger automotive companies who can afford to lose money on it, let’s hope there are more things in the pipeline.

"There are 523 plus people employed in the electric car project and in Dyson’s statement they have made the commitment to redeploy them into existing product lines.

"The statement clearly says the investment is secure in the area.

"Half of the research was into battery power, that is still very much applicable.

Leader of Wiltshire Council said he was confident that the skills of workers in Malmesbury will be transferred into other projects.

Cllr Philip Whitehead said: “These people who are in the industry are at a high level will be able to move into other positions. There’s a shortage across the whole of the UK in terms of high level engineers. I’m sure there are different ideas in the pipeline.”

Dyson’s automotive team is made up of 523 people who work in different factories across the world, including Malmesbury – and the firm is in the process of expanding at Hullavington.

The company stressed it is committed to remaining in both towns, saying: "We are working to quickly find alternative roles within Dyson for as many of the team as possible and we have sufficient vacancies to absorb most of the people into our Home business."

Read this article on the Gazette and Herald here...

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