BrandArena: Zika Virus Claims First Corporate Victim: Tata Motors To Rename 'Zica' Car

Thursday 4 February 2016

Zika Virus Claims First Corporate Victim: Tata Motors To Rename 'Zica' Car

To avoid association with alarm about the rapidly-spreading Zika virus, Indian biggest carmaker Tata Motors, has decided to rename its heavily promoted new car, the Zica.

The firm announced it would choose a new name for the car - which is aimed at young people - a day after the World Health Organisation declared Zika a global emergency. Though, the new name is yet to be revealed.

“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 rebrand the car,” the company said in a statement. “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 change comes too late for the launch of the car at the Indian Auto Expo in New Delhi on Wednesday, where it will still carry the Zica label. Tata had chosen the name as an abbreviation of “zippy car”.

Last week, WHO said the Zika virus was spreading at an explosive rate and was present in more than 20 countries. It estimated that up to 4 million people across the Americas would be infected with the virus in the next year.

Zika was first detected in a Ugandan forest of the same name in 1947, but it was considered a relatively mild disease until the current outbreak was declared in Latin America last year.

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