Monday 26 September 2016

Carmaker is changing the name of its new car because of the Zika virus

Published 03/02/2016 | 13:53

Tata Motors' newly launched Zica car is displayed at the Indian Auto Expo in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
Tata Motors' newly launched Zica car is displayed at the Indian Auto Expo in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee

Tata Motors is to rename its new Zica car to avoid connotations with the ongoing Zika virus outbreak.

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India’s biggest carmaker is dropping the name after the the Zika virus was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation on Monday.

The Zica car - derived from Zippy Car- will be unveiled at the Auto Expo in New Delhi this week.

“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,” Tata Motors said in a statement.

Tata said the Zica car, aimed at young people, will carry its label for the duration of the Auto exhibition. Its label will then be changed within a few weeks. The company has not yet revealed what the new name will be.The automaker had launched a big marketing campaign around its car starring Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi before the full scale of the virus was known.

The World Health Organisation has predicted that as many as four million people could be infected with the Zika virus this year.

The outbreak of Zika, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, began in Brazil last May and has moved into more than 20 countries in Latin America.

The last time a global emergency was declared was following the Ebola outbreak in December 2013, which is thought to have led to more than 11,000 deaths.

The Irish health service confirmed the country's first two cases of the Zika virus on Wednesday.

More: Zika Virus Q&A: What is it? What are the travel implications?

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