Indian Carmaker Scraps Unfortunately Named “Zika” Hatchback
Tata Motors thinks having a car that shares its name with a deadly virus isn’t good for business. We agree.
The international outbreak of the Zika virus, which can cause birth defects, will force Tata Motors to rename its new Zica hatchback. The model's name is nearly identical to that of the disease, and no automaker wants a product to have an association with an illness that seems to harm children.
"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.
The Zica, short for Zippy Car, will still make its public debut at the Auto Expo 2016 in New Delhi, and the company will use the original name at the show. However, Tata will change the branding in a few weeks. The new name has yet to be announced.
According to Reuters, The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus an international health emergency, and the disease has infected up to 4 million people in the Americas. The Centers for Disease Control reports the illness causes fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis in adults but can also lead to serious birth defects, like microcephaly, in pregnant women.
Although it has little to do with the Zica/Zika situation, recall that Tata is most notable outside of Southeast Asia as the parent company of Jaguar Land Rover.
This article originally appeared on Autoblog.