frankfurt The Düsseldorf insurer Ergo is expanding its cooperation with the Chinese automobile group Great Wall Motors (GWM) and supporting it to enter the European market. The Chinese, who are also presenting themselves at the IAA Mobility car show in Munich, initially want to start here with an SUV with plug-in hybrid drive from their premium brand Wey. A cheap electric car from the Ora brand will follow.
“This is a new milestone in our strategic partnership with GWM, which started in China and expanded to Europe after only a year and a half,” says Karsten Crede, Board Member of Ergo Digital Ventures and Head of Ergo Mobility Solutions ( EMS). The expanded cooperation between the two companies will be officially launched on Tuesday.
As part of the cooperation, GWM will be responsible for importing the vehicles into Europe and for sales. Ergo takes care of the insurance, as the Handelsblatt learned beforehand. Both classic insurance products and à la carte insurance will be offered, which customers can contract if necessary.
The starting point for the new cooperation between the Munich Re subsidiary and the Chinese manufacturer is the joint venture founded by the two companies in the Chinese car market in 2020. Great Wall Motors, based in Baoding, central China, it sold more than a million vehicles last year.
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The product range extends from SUVs, ATVs and pickup trucks to battery electric vehicles. For example, Great Wall is cooperating with the German manufacturer BMW on the electric mini.
Car buyers in China are digitally savvy
The cooperation with Great Wall is also interesting for Ergo because “we can learn a lot from the Chinese car market,” emphasizes Crede. Customers are much more digitally savvy than in Germany: “Now it’s about jointly presenting digital offerings that work well in China for German and European customers.”
One example: While new cars in Germany are generally sold through established dealer organizations, Chinese customers now often buy their vehicles online. “So we are exploring how online insurance sales for Ora or Wey could work here as well,” Crede explains.
At the same time, GWM customers should also be able to take out Ergo insurance with the local dealer. The cooperation partners also want to establish a mobility ecosystem with services and products for customers, whether for car buyers or users of alternative mobility services, such as car-sharing offers.
In the automotive sector, ecosystems with car-related products and services, in which insurance is also part of the overall package, are playing an increasingly important role. For insurers, this development offers opportunities for new business. At the same time, they face the challenge of positioning themselves as important players in an ecosystem.
Ergo Mobility Solutions, founded in 2017, wants to be a strategic partner for the automotive industry: “We don’t see ourselves as just a car insurance provider, but with our technology-driven approach as a systems provider we form an important interface between the automakers, dealers and customers,” says Crede. The Ergo subsidiary also works with automakers BMW and Volvo, as well as digital car dealership Emil Frey.
Plus: Ergo agrees first joint venture with Chinese automaker