New Delhi: Indian auto major Tata Motors has said it is mulling over rechristening its new Zica hatchback due to the uncanny similarity of its name with the Zika virus, the outbreak of which has created a global panic, the company said Tuesday
Tata Motors has been heavily promoting the small Zica – or "zippy car" – with a marketing campaign starring Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi. However, its launch has coincided with a rapid spread in the mosquito-borne Zika virus through Latin America.
The virus has been blamed for a surge in brain-damaged babies in these countries.
"We are evaluating the whole situation. No decision has been made yet," Minari Shah, head of corporate communications at Tata Motors in Mumbai, told AFP. The car is due to go on show at India's Auto Expo 2016, which opens in New Delhi this week.
The World Health Organization had on Monday declared an international health emergency over the Zika virus. It said the virus was "strongly suspected" to be linked to a large number of babies born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads.
Brazil has even warned pregnant women to stay away from the Olympics, which open in August in Rio de Janeiro.