Tata Motors drops 'Zica' brand after 'Zika' virus outbreak

Tata Motors has decided to rename its soon-to-be launched hatchback 'Zica' in view of the outbreak of Zika virus that has caused hardships across many nations.

Although spelt differently, the name sounds the same as the virus. 'ZICA' was derived from 'Zippy 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," a company statement said here.

The World Health Organization has declared an emergency over the mosquito-borne virus, suspected of causing microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, in babies.

Tata Motors did not announce the new name of the car, which will be showcased for the first time at the Auto Expo 2016 at Greater Noida, near here, from February 3-9.

"While it carries the 'Zica' label for the duration of the event, the new name will be announced after a few weeks, ensuring all necessary consumer/branding and regulatory aspects are addressed, and the launch will take place thereafter," the statement said.

Tata Motors said the new car is backed by Tata Motors' "Made of Great" campaign, with the motto, 'What drives us from within is what makes us great'.

The company said it is committed to doing what is right for its customers.

"The car, which has been designed for young people, has already received enthusiastic reviews from informed commentators, and the company is determined to place it in the market addressing all relevant needs of the target audience," the statement added.