Thatcham announces partnership with Chinese manufacturer Chery

Thatcham Research has announced a pioneering strategic partnership with Chery Automobile, one of China’s leading vehicle manufacturers.

Signed in Wuhu, China, the deal is the first of its kind for the automotive risk intelligence company as it continues its mission to integrate repairability into early-stage vehicle design. The new partnership represents a pivotal shift towards a more sustainable and consumer-centric approach in automotive design, spearheading a movement towards vehicles that successfully balance innovation and insurability.

The insurability imperative is increasingly vital against a backdrop of rising insurance costs and a rapidly transforming automotive landscape. Driven by the introduction of new vehicle technology from electric powertrains to ADAS, the advent of greater vehicle complexity is happening at a time when the industry is already navigating a critical repair skills shortage.

Ben Townsend, Thatcham Research head of automotive, said: “The goal is to ensure that Chery vehicles coming off the production line are as insurable as they are innovative, bridging the gap between cutting-edge design and practicality in maintenance and repair.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Chery to bake repairability into the DNA of vehicle design from the get-go. By doing so, Chery is signalling its intent to anticipate the needs and challenges of the future and address them today, creating a better total cost of ownership experience for its drivers.”

The project will see Thatcham Research automotive risk intelligence specialists collaborating with Chery engineers to make recommendations on potential enhancements to vehicle design, based on reporting of vehicle damageability performance against international RCAR standards.

The partnership will also include dedicated vehicle research with a view to producing BS10125 compliant repair methods to service the most common repairs required in the UK and European market.

In addition, Thatcham Research will work with Chery to prepare all new vehicles to meet the requirements of the New Vehicle Security Assessment (NVSA), with virtual and physical testing to scope “theft of” and “theft from” risk, making practical vehicle design interventions where required.

Chen Chunqing, CEO of OMODA and JAECOO UK, said: “We consider this partnership a key factor in underlining our commitment to Europe and the UK. From the outset we wanted to make sure our customers have the best support throughout their ownership of our cars. Our work with Thatcham as leading industry experts has already seen tangible benefits and will now underpin all future development of models, specifically our OMODA and JAECOO brands that will be spearheading our offering in Europe and the UK.”

The announcement of the partnership with Chery comes as Townsend and Thatcham Research chief commercial officer Miller Crockart, visited China-based vehicle manufacturers and like-minded research institutions in the region, to discuss the idiosyncrasies of the UK and European market and pro-active measures that can be adopted to address repair and insurance teething problems.