SINGAPORE (Oct 23): Dyson has chosen Singapore as the location to build its first advanced automotive manufacturing facility.

The bespoke two-storey building is expected to be completed in 2020.

See: How about an all-electric car-lite Singapore?

Dyson plans to invest £2 billion ($3.6 billion) to build its own electric vehicle with £1 billion going into battery technology and the other £1 billion going into the development and construction of the vehicle, according to The Financial Times.

In a media release issued on Tuesday, Jim Rowan, CEO of Dyson says, “Our existing footprint and team in Singapore, combined with the nation’s significant advanced manufacturing expertise, made it a frontrunner. Singapore also offers access to high-growth markets as well as an extensive supply chain and a highly skilled workforce. Singapore has a comparatively high cost base, but also great technology expertise and focus. It is therefore the right place to make high quality technology loaded machines, and the right place to make our electric vehicle.”

Dyson first opened its office in Singapore 11 years ago with a small engineering team developing high speed, digital and electric motors. It now has 1,100 employees, and has made more than 50 million high-speed Dyson Digital Motors in Singapore.

“Our RDD teams at both the Singapore Technology Centre and the Advanced Manufacturing Centre have developed world-leading knowledge and represent Dyson at its best. Singapore is central to our future and we expect to more than double our team there,” adds Rowan.

Earlier this year, Dyson, which is known for its high-tech vacuum cleaners and fans, said it was planning to enter the automotive industry by coming up with its own electric vehicle. It also said that it was in the process investing £200 million in new buildings and testing facilities at its campus at Hullavington Airfield, UK.

Associate Professor Nitin Pangarkar of NUS Business School says “Dyson is betting that Singapore's combination of connectivity, good governance, infrastructure and innovative business ecosystem will be a winning combination for its value chain. Singapore has more than 20 bilateral and regional  free trade agreements. To qualify for these agreements, firms can reroute their value chains to Singapore, where they can gain access to a robust network of suppliers.”

Ambank analyst Al Zaquan says Dyson is a right fit for Singapore that is prioritising on quality rather than quantity of cars sold.

He says all signs point to the fact that it will be a small operation with a clear emphasis on margins, given the “bespoke” nature of the plant that will see an increment of Dyson’s workforce in Singapore to about 2,200.

In addition, the success of electric cars in markets such as Norway and China was due to overt government support and adequate infrastructure in the form of charging stations.

Singapore made moves for the EV market as early as 2010 when it partnered with German’s Bosch to build charging stations.

In June, energy utilities provider SP Group announced it will build 500 charging points by 2020.

"Singapore’s relatively small size of less than 6 million and limited land (warranting concerns for congestion) means it can have a more centralised EV framework built on a clear policy and incentives," adds the analyst.

See: Sir James Dyson attempts to slay the global air pollution demon with his very own EV