Dyson took a huge step forward in 2002. Our launch into the US, one of the world's largest technology markets, marked the culmination of more than a decade of hard work, shrewd manoeuvring, and fighting spirit. In many ways, the story of how it happened illustrates the very spirit of Dyson...
It all began in 1984, with American corporation Amway. Having heard about James Dyson's revolutionary new cyclonic vacuum cleaner, they were keen to sign a licensing deal. But just six months later, everything turned sour. Amway pulled out of the agreement, forcing James to pay back everything to retain his patents.
Seventeen years later, and James's technology is on US shelves. Not in a Dyson machine, but one made by Canadian manufacturer Fantom. Unfortunately, they've failed to understand the technology, and are slowly killing the machine's potential through poor marketing. With sales falling, the company goes under in 2001.
This gives James the opportunity he's been waiting for. Frustrated by years of failure thanks to duplicitous or incapable business partners, his next step is clear. It's finally time for Dyson to launch in the US – on our terms.
But despite our success in the UK and beyond, in the US marketplace we're unknown all over again. Stepping up to the challenge, Dyson people have to call upon all their resilience to put together the launch.
In just ten months, together they establish a new office and helpline based in the US. They re-engineer our technology to tackle American long-pile carpeting. And equip a manufacturing facility in Malaysia to cope with US demand.
Two years after launch, Dyson overtakes Hoover to become number one in sales in the US. It's a tremendous achievement. But while one of our longest, toughest battles has finally been won, the war is far from over.
We're still fighting today.