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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, May 21, 2018

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India Tata Motors to rebrand new car Zica

Auto Expo 2016

Share on Facebook February 3, 2016, Reporter : Big News Network, Reader : 523

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NEW DELHI The Zika virus has taken its toll on India's Tata Motors, which has decided to rebrand its hatchback named Tata Zica, an abbreviation of "Zippy Car."> Big News Network

The car is to be shown for the first time on Wednesday at the Auto Expo 2016 on New Delhi's outskirts.

Tata, India's fifth largest automaker, unveiled the Zica a few weeks ago. At the time, the phonetically identical Zika virus, a mosquito-borne illness spreading fast in the Americas that is causing birth defects, was not so prevalent.

Now, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel warnings and a level two alert about Zika, and women living in affected areas have been urged not to have children for two years.

With Zica, Tata, the owner of the British luxury car brand Jaguar Land Rover, was hoping to regain its market share in India.

Designed by an international team, the small car has received favourable reviews for its contemporary look and features. The company plans to follow its launch with a new line of passenger vehicles.

Hoping to avoid adverse publicity, Tata Motors said it would rename Zica.

"Empathising 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," Tata Motors said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Tata Motors is committed to doing what is right for its customers; the car, which has been designed for young people, has already received enthusiastic reviews from informed commentators, and the company is determined to place it in the market addressing all relevant needs of the target audience," the statement added.

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 hatchback, which is being endorsed by world soccer player of the year Lionel Messi.

Incidentally Messi hails from the South American country of Argentina where the first case of Zika was reported a few days ago.

The car, which has been designed for young people, has already received enthusiastic reviews, and the company is determined to place it in the market addressing all relevant needs of the target audience, the company said.

"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", added the statement.

The Zica is the first new product from Tata Motors this calendar year and will compete against Hyundai i10, Maruti Celerio to name a few. The company plans to soon launch a compact sedan based on the Zica platform.

The car has been developed in 36 months at the company's studio in the UK and manufactured at its plant in Sanand, Gujarat and with inputs from Jaguar Land Rover.

Companies such as Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Honda Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Renault SA are scheduled to reveal new models at the Auto Expo aimed specifically at India's middle class.

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