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[SINGAPORE] Dyson plans to hire 100 engineers in Singapore to develop home appliances and boost output of motors that drive the company's bagless vacuum cleaners worldwide.
Annual production of the engines used in cleaners - including the cordless "Fluffy" model designed for Asia's hard floors - will increase to 11 million units by the end of the year, from four million last year, chief executive Max Conze said in an interview in Singapore on Tuesday.
The company's factories are located in the city-state, which has promoted higher-value manufacturing, and neighbouring Malaysia. The investment reflects increased sales in Asia amid rising affluence.
"Often I find that technology adoption is faster in Asia than it is in the Western world," Mr Conze said. "People in Japan or in Singapore get really, really excited about some of the technology we offer, which is why increasingly we're launching products first in Asia." Japan is Dyson's largest market in the region and so far the only country where it sells the new 360 Eye robot vacuum cleaner. The company has been market leader in Japan by value in floor care appliances since 2013, Mr Conze said. Sales grew 50 per cent last year, he said, without giving a figure.
Dyson injected US$100 million earlier this year to double output at the Singapore plant. The motors made in the city-state drive machines assembled in Malaysia. The product range includes cleaners, fans, hand dryers and lighting."We are investing more into expanding into Southeast Asia, from Malaysia to Thailand and ultimately into Indonesia and the Philippines," Mr Conze said.
The company is also bolstering its engineering operations at its home base of Malmesbury in the UK, where 3,000 more people will be hired by 2020, Conze said.