Dyson makes surprise HQ move to Singapore

Sir James Dyson has moved the headquarters of his Dyson business from Britain to Singapore, maintaining the move is not related to Brexit, but due to the growth in manufacturing and customers in Asian markets.

Dyson hoover
Sir James Dyson, a high-profile supporter of the UK's departure from the European Union, has decided to move the headquarters of his vacuum cleaner and hair dryer empire from Britain to Singapore.

Dyson maintains the HQ move "has nothing to do with Brexit"

The move, which Dyson CEO Jim Rowan maintains has “nothing to do with Brexit”, will take place in the next few months and will initially involve the relocation of only two executives - chief financial officer Jorn Jensen and chief technical officer Martin Bowen - although others are expected to follow at some future date.In a statement the company, which saw profits exceed £1 billion in 2018 for the first time, said, “An increasing majority of Dyson’s customers and all of our manufacturing operations are now in Asia; this shift has been occurring for some time and will quicken as Dyson brings its electric vehicle to market.“We are now at a point where Dyson’s corporate head office will relocate there to reflect the increasing importance of Asia to Dyson’s business.”

Majority of Dyson's manufacturing operations and customers now in Asia

Dyson has been progressively shifting production of its products to the Far East in recent years and announced in October it would build an electric car at a factory in Singapore. Former BMW and Infiniti executive Roland Krueger has been appointed to head the electric car project and will also be based in the city-state.However, the company said it would continue to recruit in the UK to maintain and enlarge its 3,500-plus workforce employed at research and engineering sites in Malmesbury, Wiltshire - the current HQ site - London and Bristol, as well as at a new centre in Hullavington, where it will develop its electric car programme.Apart from denying the move was connected with Brexit, Mr Rowan also said it was not to do with a more favourable tax regime in Singapore, where corporation tax rates are 17 per cent, two per cent lower than in the UK.

From a global business perspective Asia sees biggest growth opportunities

"It's to make us future-proof for where we see the biggest opportunities," he said. "We have seen an acceleration of opportunities to grow the company from a revenue perspective in Asia. We have always had a revenue stream there and will be putting up our best efforts as well as keeping an eye on investments, especially EV (electric vehicles) and batteries."We would describe ourselves as a global technology company and in fact we have been a global company for some time. Most successful companies these days are global."However, Theo Leggett, BBC business correspondent, commented that because the company's roots are in Britain and because Sir James a vocal supporter of Brexit, the decision to move "is likely to make political waves".Describing the relocation as "highly symbolic, he said, "Dyson has made it clear its centre of gravity now lies in Asia, where it sees the biggest opportunities for growth."There may be business logic in the move - but as the UK struggles to define a coherent vision for its own future, it is unlikely to be applauded here."Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online DirectorySubscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all of the international assignments and global mobility news.