The Dyson car looks more likely than ever, as former Aston Martin product development director Ian Minards has moved into the same role at electronics company Dyson.
Minards’ move fuels the already fierce speculation that Dyson is bringing an electric car to market in the near future, although the car is being kept under wraps.
The Dyson electric car was referenced in a government document entitled ‘National Infrastructure Delivery Plan 2016-2021’ earlier this year, in a brief segment which, according to the Guardian, said: “The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174 million of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering”.
The document has since been altered to say “The government is providing a grant of up to £16m to Dyson to support research and development for battery technology at their site in Malmesbury," fuelling speculation that Dyson wants to keep the car a secret for as long as possible.
Minards’ LinkedIn profile has been updated to reflect his new role at Dyson, with his start time listed as September 2016. A spokesman for Aston Martin couldn’t confirm Minards’ new role, but could confirm that he left to pursue other commitments, and that Aston Martin has identified his replacement.
Minards joined Aston Martin in 1997, and worked on an early DB7 models, as well as shooting brake-bodied cars from customer orders.
He was chief programme engineer for the first Vanquish, and then went on to launch the V8 Vantage in 2004, before becoming product development director in 2006. Since then, Aston Martin has launched numerous cars, the most recent being the DB11.
Other automotive sector employees have also headed to Wiltshire to join the Dyson team - further fuelling the speculation - but Dyson remains secretive about its plans.
A spokesman from Dyson said that the company does not comment on staff or HR matters, but did say: "We have historically recruited from a wide range of backgrounds, as we are a broad church and are developing a multitude of technologies. We plan to recruit an extra 3,000 engineers and scientists by 2020 and are working with more than 40 universities globally.”