07:56 GMT +319 November 2019
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    Chairman of Tata Group, Cyrus Mistry and Tata Motors' Head of Advanced and Product Engineering, Tim Leverton (R), pose with a Zica car during its launch at the Indian Auto Expo in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, February 3, 2016

    Tactful Decision: ‘Zica’ Car Renamed Due to Virus Controversy

    © REUTERS / Anindito Mukherjee
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    Tata Motors, India’s largest automaker and one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, has decided to change the name of its latest creation, the ‘Zica’ car, to avoid possible parallels with the ongoing Zika virus epidemic.

    The new vehicle is scheduled to be unveiled at the upcoming Auto Expo in New Delhi. According to a statement issued by the company, the 'Zica' car will retain its name only until the end of the expo.

    Ms Minari Shah, Tata Motors’ head of the Corporate Communications, told Sputnik that the company decided to act as a socially responsible enterprise and do what’s right despite the inevitable additional expenses.

    "Basically as a responsible global corporation, we felt that when there was a virus which was causing a lot of suffering to a lot of people, we could not name our car with that name. We did what we thought was right," she said.

    She also added that it will take some time for the company to come up with a new name for the car.

    "Only yesterday evening we have launched a crowd-sourcing contest where we are inviting twitter followers and people to suggest a new name, and over the next couple of weeks you should hear from us," Shah said.

    Tata Motors had already launched a major marketing campaign around the car starring the legendary footballer Lionel Messi, before the true extent of the Zika virus epidemic became apparent.

    The current Zika outbreak started in Brazil in the spring of 2015. It has since spread across Latin America, with cases having been reported in several European countries and the United States.

    Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus outbreak a public health emergency.


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