Tata is having to rename its Zica cars because of the Zika virus outbreak

 
Lynsey Barber
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The Zica name came from "Zippy Car"

Tata Motors has been forced to change the name of its soon-to-launch car Zica, because the name is too similar to that of the devastating Zika virus.

The unfortunately named new Zica hatchback, shortened from Zippy Car and chosen before the outbreak of the virus, will now be rebranded. It's due to make its debut at the New Delhi auto show on Wednesday,

"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," Tata Motors said in a statement.

The World Health Organisation yesterday declared the Zika outbreak a public health emergency. The disease has emerged from Latin America but has spread further sparking a global health alert.

The inadvertantly awkward naming echoes similar issues which arose in 2014 with the rise of Islamic State - then called Isis. Ann Summers' launch of an Isis range of lingerie was "unfortunate timing".

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