The vacuum cleaner company Dyson has recruited former BMW and Infiniti executive Roland Krueger to head its electric-car business.
Dyson aims to bring three electric cars to market with the first model due by 2021.
Krueger's appointment "proves how serious we are about taking this project and this division to the next level," Dyson CEO Jim Rowan told analysts on a financial results call on Tuesday.
"We expect to be able to go in and disrupt yet another industry using bespoke Dyson technology and innovation." Rowan said.
Dyson revolutionized vacuum cleaners with its bagless technology.
Krueger, 53, was president of Nissan’s Infiniti brand from 2014 until earlier this month. Prior to that he worked for BMW, rising to the position of head of the brand’s German domestic market. Krueger will start in April and will be based at Dyson’s new headquarters in Singapore.
Dyson plans to build its electric cars in a new factory in Singapore. It will launch with a low-volume halo model, a similar tactic to Volvo’s Polestar brand, before following with a pair of more conventional electric models, the Financial Times reported last year. Dyson is aiming to use solid-state batteries to power its cars, but the first models are expected to use lithium-ion batteries, the paper said.
The company has been hiring staff mainly from UK-based automotive firms as it attempts to build a brand to rival Tesla and Chinese EV company Nio.
Dyson’s head of global production development is former Aston Martin engineering director Ian Minards, while its automotive commercial director, Andy Gawthorpe, was marketing strategy and planning director at Jaguar Land Rover. Head of engineering, John Stamford, was formerly head of electronics at Mercedes AMG’s UK-based F1 engine division.
Dyson said on Tuesday that it is moving his corporate office and tax registration to Singapore from Britain to be closer to his fastest growing markets.
It said the move to Singapore was not driven by Britain's looming departure from the European Union or tax implications. Much of its product development will stay in southwest England.
Rowan said the company was seeing the biggest demand for products like air purifiers and hairdryers as well as cleaners in Asia, where it already manufactures products. "It allows us to make sure we will be putting our best efforts to secure those opportunities, as well as keeping an eye on those investments, especially EV (electric vehicles) and batteries," he said.
There would be a "negligible difference" to the company's tax payments as a result, said Rowan, who is based in Singapore.
Rowan will be joined in Singapore by other senior executives including the company's chief financial officer when Dyson moves, which he said would happen as quickly as possible.
Rowan said the Chinese market was already the size of mature markets such as Japan and the United States.
The company, which has 5,853 engineers and scientists working on its new electric car and other products, is still expanding its research and engineering operation in Britain, it said.
Dyson reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 1.1 billion pounds ($1.42 billion) in 2018 on turnover up 28 percent to 4.4 billion pounds.
In October, it said it would build its electric car in Singapore because it said it was close to suppliers and Asian markets.
Reuters contributed to this report