Indian Automaker Changes Car’s Name Due To Zika Virus

An outbreak of a mosquito-borne virus in the Americas forced Indian automaker Tata Motors to alter the name of a similar-sounding hatchback.

Mnet 190995 Zica

An outbreak of a mosquito-borne virus in the Americas forced Indian automaker Tata Motors to alter the name of a similar-sounding hatchback.

Tata was scheduled to unveil its new Zica model at an auto show near New Delhi this week.

The car is named after an abbreviation of "zippy car," but it evidently bears too close a resemblance to the Zika virus currently plaguing Latin America.

The World Health Organization on Monday declared a global health emergency over the virus, which is linked to birth defects and has spread from Brazil — where it was first detected in May — to more than 20 nations.

"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," the company said in a statement.

Tata said that it will show the Zica this week as scheduled, but that a new name will be announced "after a few weeks."

Tata Motors, India's fifth largest auto company, owns U.K. automaker Jaguar Land Rover and is part of the larger Tata conglomerate.

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