Tata Motors is changing the name of its new hatchback because of the Zika Virus. The company is set to launch the vehicle in just a few short days, but decided the name “Zica” was too close to the viruses official name.
Zika is the mosquito-borne virus that has caused a public health emergency in the Americas.
The hatchback will debut this week at a car show in New Delhi with its original name — derived from “Zippy Car” — but a replacement will be chosen within weeks.
Tata is best known as the owner of Jaguar Land Rover. The company has already publicly promoted the Zica name.
In the meantime, the Zika virus has spread to at least 24 countries with the World Health Organization estimating that 3 million to 4 million people across the Americas will be infected with the virus in the next year.
The virus has a connection with microcephaly, a neurological disorder that results in babies being born with abnormally small heads.
This isn’t the first time an automobile manufacturer has decided to change the name of a vehicle in Latin America. Chevrolet’s Nova received a name change in that region because in Spanish “no-va” means “won’t go.”
This is still better than Isis Pharmaceuticals which was forced to change its name to Ionis Pharmaceuticals after admitting it was struggling with the “negative connotations” of using a name now associated with a terrorist group.