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Failure of Dyson electric car programme

October 11, 2019 5:17 PM

On 10 October 2019, Dyson announced its Board's decision to close the project as it's not commercially viable. Wiltshire Council is now looking to help cover the consequences of that decision.

Dyson will continue its £2.5bn investment programme, continuing to expand at Malmesbury and Hullavington, concentrating on manufacturing solid state batteries and other technologies.

The company has said it has 'exciting plans' for Hullavington which it will outline in due course.

As the site was bought primarily for automotive development (requiring extensive test tracks) it'll be interesting to see what those are.

Wiltshire Council worked closely with Dyson to secure their further development at Malmesbury, when there was a threat to move activity elsewhere. As part of that development WC built a new roundabout on the A429 using LEP funding. WC also helped to initiate the electric car project by finding Government investment, helping to secure Hullavington by negotiations with the MoD, and working on a masterplan for the site.

This has involved considerable officer support, with an account manager and senior planner leading the engagement.

Despite the subsidies from local and national taxpayers, WC were not informed of the decision beforehand, though the company have committed to engage 'in the near future'.

WC has offered 'task force' support should any redundancies follow, to help match skilled people to known demand from other employers (as was done with Cooper Tires, and Honda).

Dyson are keen to emphasise that Hullavington is an important R&D site for the company and has a bright future, and that the Home business has the capacity to absorb most of the automotive staff.