India's Tata Motors to rename hatchback that sounds like Zika - ASEAN/East Asia | The Star Online
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India's Tata Motors to rename hatchback that sounds like Zika


An employee makes an entry in a register at a Tata Motors showroom in Ahmedabad, India. - Reuters

An employee makes an entry in a register at a Tata Motors showroom in Ahmedabad, India. - Reuters

MUMBAI: The rapidly-spreading Zika virus has found an unlikely victim - Indian carmaker Tata Motors Ltd.

The carmaker said on Tuesday it had decided to rename its soon-to-be-launched hatchback Zica, short for Zippy Car, after the mosquito-borne virus was declared an international health emergency.

Tata Motors, part of the Tata Group, one of India's largest conglomerates, said it would decide on a new name for the hatchback after a few weeks.

It is due to showcase the car in the biennial New Delhi motor show starting Wednesday.

The World Health Organization has said Zika is "spreading explosively" and could infect as many as four million people in the Americas.

Tata Motors is seeking an image makeover with the curvaceous hatchback, which is being endorsed by world soccer player of the year Lionel Messi.

India's fifth-biggest automaker, which owns the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, has struggled to dispel perceptions of cheapness since releasing its Nano cars seven years ago costing under US$3,000 (RM12,600). - Reuters

Tata , Zika virus

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