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.

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Press Statement on ZICA rename

Tata Motors today announced that it has decided to rename its soon-to-be launched hatchback. The car's acronym was "ZICA", derived from "Zippy Car". 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 new car is backed by Tata Motors' "Made of Great" campaign, with the motto, "What drives us from within is what makes us great". 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 new car will be showcased publicly for the first time at the Auto Expo 2016, in New Delhi (Greater Noida) from February 3 – 9, 2016. 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.

About Tata Motors

Tata Motors Limited is India's largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of INR 2,62,796 crores (USD 42.04 billion) in 2014-15. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa and Indonesia. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, the business comprising the two iconic British brands. It also has an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India. With over 8 million Tata vehicles plying in India, Tata Motors is the country's market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top in passenger vehicles. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, South America, Australia, CIS and Russia.

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