DYSON’S LONG-HELD DREAM ISN’T GOING TO COLLECT DUST
SIR JAMES DYSON’S plan to build a car is incredibly ambitious even for a man so steeped in innovation.
Unlike with vacuum cleaners, making cars means adhering to an extraordinary amount of legislation – on emissions, crash safety and getting a host of highly complex systems to talk to one another, and reliably. This is hugely costly and crucial stuff to get right before you even think about what the car is going to look like.
A senior car designer told me recently that, even on electric cars, 70% of the design is defined by packaging requirements. With cars, Dyson has less design freedom than with its other sector-redefining products.
But Dyson joins the industry at a time when there is the biggest change in a century. Technology being developed now will be in all cars for decades to come, and no one can yet claim to be truly leading in anything other than getting there first. The game has yet to be changed, which is the opportunity Sir James senses.
Seventy-year-old Sir James says he has dreamed of this project since the 1980s and it has a sense of a legacy about it. However tough a challenge it is, being remembered for changing the car rather than the vacuum cleaner clearly holds appeal for him.
He’s built a fortune but Dyson needs to scratch the itch to make cars