Dyson shedding 900 jobs globally as virus hits consumer demand

British firm Dyson's Singapore office at the Science Park. Dyson will cut 900 jobs globally, with the bulk of them - 600 positions - in Britain, mainly in retail and customer service. The firm said it is looking to redeploy workers to alternative rol
British firm Dyson's Singapore office at the Science Park. Dyson will cut 900 jobs globally, with the bulk of them - 600 positions - in Britain, mainly in retail and customer service. The firm said it is looking to redeploy workers to alternative roles where possible.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

British engineering company Dyson is cutting 900 jobs globally due to the impact of the pandemic on consumer demand, it said on Thursday.

The Straits Times understands that 16 positions in Singapore - the site of the company's global headquarters - are affected.

Dyson employs about 1,200 people here, including 350 engineers and scientists.

The bulk of the cuts - 600 positions - are in Britain, mainly in retail and customer service. The firm said it is looking to redeploy workers to alternative roles where possible.

Dyson, best known for its bagless vacuum cleaners and hairdryers, employs about 14,000 people around the world with 4,000 or so in Britain.

ST understands that work on its new headquarters at St James Power Station is ongoing but delayed due to the pandemic and there are no changes to its expansion plan.

Dyson's three demo stores - at Funan, Westgate and Capitol Singapore - will also not be affected.

The company said last year that it has been assembling new research teams in Singapore, one specialising in areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics.

It added then that it intends to more than double its research and development headcount in Singapore over the next five years.

Dyson abandoned plans to make electric vehicles last year, which had included building a plant here, as it was not "commercially viable".

It also developed a medical ventilator from scratch earlier this year that uses motors made in Singapore's advanced manufacturing plant in Pioneer Crescent.

  • 1,200

    Number of people employed here by Dyson; 350 are engineers and scientists.

    16

    Number of positions to be cut in Singapore - the site of the company's global headquarters - as understood by The Straits Times.

Dyson's statement on Thursday noted that the pandemic has accelerated changes in consumer behaviour, prompting changes in how the company engages with customers and sells its products.

"We are evolving our organisation and reflecting these changes to make us faster, more agile, and better able to grow sustainably," it said.

The company has not furloughed any employees or drawn on public funds to support jobs anywhere in the world during this period, it added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2020, with the headline 'Dyson shedding 900 jobs globally as virus hits consumer demand'. Print Edition | Subscribe