The mosquito-transmitted Zika virus that’s rampaging parts of South America has thrown a spanner into the launch of Tata Motors’ first all-new hatchback in many years, the Zica. The car was supposed to be launched in the third week of January, but has now been pushed back to the Auto Expo. A big reason for this could be the renaming of the car. Yes, the Zika virus becoming prominent means that Tata Motors may have to go back to the drawing board to rename the car, as spellings apart, there’s little to distinguish “Zika” the virus from “Zica” the car.
The original name, ZiCa, stood for zippy car and Tata Motors even got star footballer Lionel Messi to endorse this vehicle. Given the spread of the Zika virus, it’ll be interesting to see how Tata handles the whole name-game. For now, Minari Shah, the head of corporate communications at Tata Motors, has had this to say about the developing situation,
We are evaluating the whole situation. No decision has been made yet.
The Zica is a very important car for Tata Motors as it replaces the Indica, a bread and butter model that continues to sell well in the cab sector. The new hatchback will not only replace the Indica but will also roll out of the Sanand factory, which has been heavily underutilized due to the slow selling Nano. If the Zica, and the Sway – the compact sedan based on the Zica – click in the market, Tata Motors will finally have good sellers after a long, lean patch. Both cars will be shown at the Auto Expo, which kicks off tomorrow. Also see – What Tata & Mahindra are bringing to the Auto Expo