Deadly virus forces Tata to rename its Zica hatchback

Published: 03 February 2016

► Tata to rename Zica hatchback
► Unfortunate name clash with Zika virus
► Car already revealed at Dehli show

When the time came for India’s Tata Motors to come up with a name for its new hatchback, due to go on sale this week, it decided to call it the Zica – a contraction of ‘zippy car.’

An entirely reasonable name, but one that’s unfortunately also shared with the dangerous mosquito-transmitted Zika virus, which in the months since Tata’s naming decision has spread to 20 countries and been declared an international health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

Despite the car’s launch already being scheduled and a heavyweight marketing campaign with football megastar Lionel Messi underway, Tata – the country's largest automotive manufacturer – has announced that it has taken the decision to rename the car.

‘Empathizing with the hardships being caused by the recent ‘Zika’ virus outbreak across many countries, Tata Motors, as a socially responsible company, has decided to re-brand the car,’ read a statement issued by the company.

The Tata Zica is currently on display at the New Dehli motor show under its existing name, but it is understood that the as-yet-unannounced new name will be applied in a matter of weeks.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer

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