28 January, 2019

Smaller EV businesses make big appointments

Dyson, the British company known for its vacuum cleaners and other household products, has recruited former BMW and Infiniti executive Roland Krueger to head its electric vehicle (EV) business.

The business is looking to bring three EVs to market, with the first due by 2021. The appointment of Krueger highlights how serious it is in taking the project - and its new division - to the next level, according to Dyson CEO Jim Rowan.

‘We expect to be able to go in and disrupt yet another industry using bespoke Dyson technology and innovation.’ Rowan said, referencing the impact the company had on the vacuum cleaner market when it launched its ‘bagless’ technology.

Krueger was president of Nissan’s Infiniti brand from 2014 until earlier this month. Before that, he worked at BMW, rising to the position of head of the carmaker’s domestic market. He will start his new position at Dyson in April and will be based at the company’s new headquarters in Singapore.

Dyson plans to open its new EV factory in the country, having announced it will move offices away from the UK. It will launch with a low-volume halo model, a similar tactic to Volvo’s Polestar brand, before following with a pair of more conventional electric models. The company is aiming to use solid-state battery technology but has suggested its first vehicles will run using the more conventional lithium-ion batteries found in most EVs today.

The company, which has 5,853 engineers and scientists working on its new electric car and other products, is still expanding its research and engineering operation in Britain, it said.

Meanwhile, The London Electric Vehicle Company, makers of the famous black cab, has announced Joerg Hofmann will take over as CEO with full responsibility for the business under the Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicle (GCV) division. Hofmann brings with him significant sales and marketing, product planning, production and international experience having worked for GM and luxury car brand Audi for 17 years in various roles including running operations in Brazil and Australia.

Hofmann will replace current CEO Chris Gubbey, who is retiring after overseeing the company’s switch from the London Taxi Company (LTC) to its new identity, pushing forward the use of electric technology in public transport.

‘The past three years have been some of the most challenging but rewarding of my career as we’ve opened a brand-new production facility, created a new team and supply base, rebranded the company and launched our groundbreaking new product in the UK and export markets.’ Gubbey said. ‘I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved and would like to thank all my colleagues at LEVC, Emerald Automotive and Geely for their support and efforts over the past few years.’