Ping An Insurance Group aims to boost its used-car finance marketshare with a 6.5% investment in online car-buying platform Autohome, according to the company’s second-quarter earnings on Friday.
“We think that four sectors are most relevant for us and for our customers: financial services, real estate, auto, and health,” Jessica Tan, group executive vice president of Ping An Insurance, said during the earnings call. “Therefore, five to six years ago, we’ve created everything around these ecosystems.”
Auto is an ecosystem Shenzhen, China-based Ping An did not “spend much time talking about” previously, Tan said, but that is changing for the company thanks to the purchase of Autohome.
Back in February, Australian telecommunications company Telstra sold its remaining 6.5% interest in Autohome to Ping An Insurance — the second-largest car insurer in China — for $217 million USD, according to a published report.
“Autohome has about 76% marketshare” in China, Tan said. “That means every year, there’s about 22 million people buying new cars and second-hand cars, and 76% of them do it through Autohome.”
One of the reasons Ping An invested in Autohome is because “we think it has a lot of synergies for property and casualty insurance,” as well as for Ping An Bank, the company’s financial services division, Tan said. The investment will allow Ping An to bolster marketshare in a “fragmented” used-car market, and integrate its insurance and financial services divisions into the platform.
“Second-hand cars in China are still a very under-penetrated market, but we think it’s going to reverse,” Tan said. “It’s a very fragmented market, but we are also trying to have better access to it.”
Separately, Autohome unveiled its “augmented reality showroom” to the public earlier this month, according to its website. The showroom, produced in conjunction with HiScene, features 30 different brands and 60 models of vehicles that can be explored in 3D and taken on virtual test drives.