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耗不起了?戴森放弃造电动汽车

Jeremy Kahn 2019年10月15日

戴森承认,尽管开发过程中付出了很大努力,但找不到实现商业可行性的方法。

以创新吸尘器闻名的英国亿万富翁兼发明家詹姆斯·戴森决定,放弃制造电动汽车。

“尽管开发过程中付出了很大努力,但找不到实现商业可行性的方法,”戴森在发给员工的电子邮件中称。戴森曾告诉员工,已成功“开发很棒的汽车”,但公司找不到办法通过造车赚钱。

戴森表示,曾想找买家接手汽车部门,但一直没找到。

两年前戴森公司公开宣布打算进军汽车业务,称将打造“革命性”的汽车。不过早在2015年,项目相关工作就已秘密开始。

今年9月,詹姆斯·戴森告诉《财富》杂志,第一次想到造电动汽车时,还只有特斯拉在投入大量资源实际造车。“当时环境很不一样,”他说。

从那时起,全球许多大型汽车公司都宣布大举投资电动汽车,以蔚来为首的中国电动汽车初创企业也开始大量生产。总体来看,各家公司预计未来10年向电动车领域投资超过3000亿美元。然而,特斯拉和蔚来等电动车公司已亏损数十亿美元,为了持续经营,只得不断向投资者要求更多资金。

最终吓跑戴森的可能正是庞大的投入。之前公司承诺将花费25亿英镑,其中包括投资10亿英镑用于研究,争取在固态电池方面取得突破性进展。

去年戴森销售额达44亿英镑,税后利润为6.56亿英镑,在财务方面相当保守。最近戴森向英国商业登记机构公司注册处提交的财务文件显示,未来两年内到期的债务仅为6000万美元,总计3.68亿英镑。詹姆斯·戴森曾表示,不会再为造车业务承担更多巨额债务。他还排除了公司上市的可能性。目前他和直系亲属是公司的唯一所有者。

此前戴森曾表示,希望2020年推出新车,之后一年上路。至于公司计划生产哪种车型尚不清楚,今年5月美国专利局公布了戴森为可能的设计申请的三项专利。新车很大,偏向SUV风格,装有大角度倾斜的挡风玻璃,轮胎比起典型同尺寸车上的更高也更窄。后来詹姆斯·戴森告诉英国汽车杂志《Autocar》,新款轮胎可减少滚动阻力,扩大汽车行驶范围,也能提供更宽敞的内部空间。

公司还曾表示,进入电动汽车市场是因为掌握电动机和电池的核心技术,而且深入了解空气动力学和通风控制,之前已在其他产品上应用,不仅包括吸尘器,也应用在吹风机、卷发机、干手机、无叶风扇、空气净化器和LED灯等。

今年早些时候,戴森将总部从英国马尔梅斯伯里迁至新加坡,投入500多人参与电动汽车项目,其中包括从阿斯顿马丁和日产英菲尼迪等奢侈品牌公司挖来的行业资深人士。公司表示,会尽可能将造车业务的人安排到其他业务里,但承认可能裁撤部分岗位。

戴森还表示,将继续努力研发电池技术和电动机,相关技术可用于很多家电产品。(今天快3走势图_极速快3网址)

 

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

James Dyson, the British billionaire and inventor best known for his innovative vacuum cleaners, has decided to abandon his effort to build an electric car.

"Though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable," Dyson said in an email to staff. Dyson told employees they had successfully "developed a fantastic car," but the company could not figure out how to make money on it.

Dyson said it had tried to find a buyer for the car division but had not been able to find one.

Dyson’s eponymous company publicly announced its intention to get into the automotive business two years ago, saying it would build a "revolutionary" car. But work on the project had begun in secret as far back as 2015.

James Dyson told Fortune in September that when he first conceived of the electric car, only Tesla seemed to be devoting significant resources to building EVs. "It was a very different sort of environment," he said.

Since then many of the world’s large automotive companies have announced significant investments into EVs, and a host of Chinese EV startups, led by Nio, have begun churning out electric cars. Collectively, these companies are expected to invest more than $300 billion into the field in the next decade. However, EV companies such as Tesla and Nio have been racking up billions in losses, and have had to continually tap the investors for more money just to stay solvent.

Those numbers may have ultimately scared Dyson off. The company had pledged to spend 2.5 billion pounds on the effort, including 1 billion pounds on research aimed at producing a breakthrough in solid state batteries.

Dyson, which made after-tax profits of 656 million pounds last year on sales of 4.4 billion pounds, is a financially-conservative firm. It has only $60 million of debt falling due in the next two years and 368 million pounds in total, according to its most recent financial filings with British business registry Companies House. James Dyson has said he would not take on significant additional debt to finance his car. He also ruled out the possibility of taking the company public. He and his immediate family are the company's sole owners.

Dyson had previously said it hoped to unveil its car in 2020 and have it on the road by the following year. Exactly what type of car it was planning to build is not known, but in May the U.S. Patent Office published three patents Dyson had filed pertaining to one possible design. That car was a large, SUV-style vehicle with a radically raked windscreen and much taller and narrower tires than those found on typical vehicles of that size. James Dyson later told the U.K. motoring magazine Autocar that the tires reduced rolling resistance, helping to extend the car’s range as well as providing more interior space.

The company had said it was getting into the electric vehicle market because the core underlying technologies—electric motors, batteries and a good understanding of both aerodynamics and climate control—were ones it had expertise in from its other products, which include not just vacuum cleaners, but hair dryers and curlers, hand dryers, bladeless fans, air purifiers, and LED lights.

Earlier this year, Dyson moved its headquarters to Singapore from Malmesbury, England, and had more than 500 people working on its EV project, including a number of automotive industry veterans it poached from companies like Aston Martin and Nissan’s Infiniti luxury brand. The company said it would try to place as many of these people in other parts of Dyson as possible, but allowed that there might be job losses.

Dyson also said it would continue its work on battery technology and its electric motors, which it can use in many of its household products.

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