In 1978, frustrated with traditional bag vacuum cleaner constantly clogging and not effectively picking up dust and dirt, James Dyson was determined to develop the technology for the first vacuum cleaner with constant suction.
15 years, over 5000 prototypes (5,127) and numerous rejection letters from short-sighted multinationals later, he launched the Dyson DCO1 Dual Cyclone™ vacuum cleaner. Within 2 years, DCO1 became the number one selling vacuum cleaner in the UK and by 1995 Dyson was the best selling cleaner.
During the mid-nineties European multinationals clubbed together to try and stop Dyson telling people that their cleaners clogged and left more and more dirt behind in their homes. In 1995 Hoover’s Vice President Europe, Mike Rutter said on UK national TV “I do regret that Hoover as a company did not take the product technology off the shelf, take it off Dyson; it would have lain on the shelf and not have been used”. In 1999, Hoover tried to imitate a Dyson and James was forced to court to protect his invention. After 18 months Dyson finally won a victory against Hoover for patent infringement.
Research and development
Researching and developing new products and technology that work better is at the core of Dyson, all of which is carried out at the Dyson Research and Development Centre in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, UK.
1,200 people work at Dyson in Wiltshire, one third of employees are engineers and scientists who design, develop and engineer all new Dyson products & technology, as well as challenge and develop existing technologies. Dyson has almost 1000 patents and patent applications for over 150 different inventions.
Dyson launched in the US in 2002, since then Dyson has gained over 20.7% by value of the US upright vacuum cleaner market in 2 years (NPD Houseworld 2004). Dyson remains committed to the development of new products that work better. In 2004, the company's pre-tax profit came to £102m, more than double the figure for 2003. Dyson’s engineers and scientists are working on many other new technologies to solve problems in the home. Dyson’s investment into research and development in 2004 was £40m, this is set to increase to £50m in 2005.
Dyson facts & figures
Dyson Dual CycloneTM (1993): Highly efficient cyclonic vacuum cleaner. A dust separation system that does not rely on bags – resulting in constant powerful suction room after room. Dual Cyclone™ models include the DCO3; DCO4; & DCO5.
Dyson RootCycloneTM (2001): More advanced cyclonic vacuum cleaner technology with 8 cyclones in upright cleaners and 12 in cylinder machines. 45% more powerful than Dual CycloneTM technology, giving better dust and dirt pickup as well as constant suction. Root Cyclone™ models include the DCO7; DCO8; DC11; DCO8 Telescope, DC14; & DC15.
Dyson Digital Motor (2004): Dyson-designed switch reluctance motor; smaller, longer-lasting
and more powerful motor which will provide future Dyson products with diagnostic capabilities.
Dyson 2-drums (2004): Dyson’s 2-drums washing machine has a unique wash action with two
In a survey carried out for Dyson in 2004 by BMRB International more than one in three people in
the UK claimed to own a Dyson vacuum cleaner.
In 2004 Dyson continued as the number one selling vacuum cleaner brand in the UK by volume
and value. (GFK Lekrak Jan 2005)
In the USA, Dyson holds the number one spot by upright vacuums at 20.7% by value (Source NPD
Dyson is the No1 selling vacuum cleaner brand in Western Europe* and is the market leader by value in Australia in New Zealand.
Dyson has become Australia’s number one vacuum cleaner brand by 21% volume and 49.6%
value share (Gfk Lektrak Jan 2005).
92% of Dyson owners would recommend a Dyson to their friends and family (67% definitely and 25% probably) - Dyson Brand Tracker - Synovate Nov / Dec 2004.
* Combines sales from UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Denmark.
Where is Dyson?
Dyson vacuum cleaners are available in 38 countries: Andorra, Australia (1996), Austria (2000), Belgium (1999), Czech Republic (1998), Cyprus (2002), Denmark (2000), Estonia (2004) Holland (1999), Falkland Islands (2002), France (1996), Finland (2003), Germany (1998), Gibraltar, Greenland, Ireland (1995), Israel (1998), Italy (2000), Japan (1998), Latvia (2004) Luxembourg (1999), New Zealand (1998), Norway (2001), Poland (2003), Portugal (1999), Russia (2002), Singapore (2000), Slovakia (1998), Slovenia (2002), South Korea (2003), Spain (1998), Sweden (1997), Switzerland (1999), Turkey (1997), USA (2002), Oman (2003), United Arab Emirates (2003) & UK (1993).
Dyson’s fundraising and work with schools
Dyson sponsored Sir Ranulph Fiennes to walk unaided across Antarctica and raised £1.8 million for Breakthrough Breast Cancer in 1996/97.
Dyson raised £1.5 million for Meningitis Research Foundation in 2000/01 for vital research.
Dyson is helping with the teaching of design and technology in schools. Dyson conducts workshops and has 70 education boxes to send to teachers and pupils in order to learn more about the design process.
Dyson supports the Design and Technology Association’s teacher of the year award every year.
Dyson recently donated £1/2 million for CLIC with their Colour My Dyson competition and through the sale of the CLIC Dyson machine.
Dyson donates around 250 vacuum cleaners every year to good causes.