Nationwide Insurance is pulling the plug on its once-heavily promoted Cartopia car-shopping iPhone app because it did little to help sell auto insurance and people deleted it after buying a car.
"Most people only shop for a car once every few years, so in many cases the relationship facilitated by the app seemed to stop when that process was complete," said Nationwide spokesman Mike Switzer.
The move ends a program that generated about 60,000 downloads since it launched in December 2009. Downloads still will be available through September, but Nationwide has begun removing Cartopia from the Apple iTunes app store, Switzer said.
Cartopia allows customers to review dealer invoice prices and trade-in values from IntelliChoice, get a vehicle history report from Experian, get a rate quote on auto insurance from a Nationwide agent and -- of particular interest to finance managers -- get a rate quote on an auto loan from Nationwide Bank.
That last function will live on as part of another app called Nationwide Mobile, which the insurance company launched in April 2009.
The most prominent feature of Nationwide Mobile is that it serves as a "what to do after an accident" kit. Using the customer's smart phone, Nationwide Mobile prompts the user through the process of documenting an accident, taking photos of the car and submitting claims information on the spot.