Forget vacuum cleaners and hand dryers: the British consumer engineering firm now wants to become an automaker. The BBC reports that Dyson currently has 400 staff developing a car at its U.K. headquarters, and plans to start selling the vehicle by 2020.
The firm says it will invest $2.7 billion into the project, which will be split equally between vehicle development and battery research. (It’s worth noting that the firm isn’t new to investing in battery technology.) James Dyson says the vehicle will look "radical and different," and be aimed at high-end buyers. It’s not yet clear where the car will be manufactured.
Beyond that, details are scant. In fact James Dyson is reported to have told his staff in an e-mail that “competition for new technology in the automotive industry is fierce and we must do everything we can to keep the specifics of our vehicle confidential."
Rumors of Dyson entering the electric vehicle market have swirled in the past. But the company will be entering a market that is growing more and more crowded, alongside pioneers like Telsa and, increasingly, every conventional automaker, too. Still, despite the competition, James Dyson seems confident: the Financial Times reports that he expects his car division to “quickly” outgrow the rest of the firm. Time will tell if that forecast proves accurate.