Tata to rename new Zica car because of Zika virus

tata to change name of zica car
Tata
Coming up with a clever name for any new product doubtless takes countless meetings, endless brainstorming sessions, and plenty of heated debate and discussion. Heck, if the branding team is really passionate, coffee may be spilled.

It’s not known how long it took leading Indian car maker Tata to settle on the name of its latest vehicle, but what we do know is all the expended effort was pretty much a waste of time.

You see, when the company unveiled the Zica last November, it of course had no idea that just two months later, Zika – a mosquito-borne virus linked to birth defects – would become a global public health emergency and a massive news story. Nobody had even heard of it then.

The Zica, which takes its name from the first few letters of “zippy” and “car,” is being shown off for the first time at this week’s Auto Expo – Asia’s biggest car show – but its unfortunate association with the virus has prompted Tata to announce it’ll rename the vehicle soon.

A statement released by the automaker said: “Empathizing with the hardships being caused by the Zika virus outbreak across many countries, Tata Motors as a socially-responsible company has decided to re-brand the car.”

Describing the compact sedan as offering “fantastic features to fit your dynamic lifestyle,” Tata last year signed up soccer superstar Lionel Messi to endorse the car. The company, which in 2008 bought top-end car brands Jaguar and Range Rover, plans for the Zica to go up against similarly small cars from Japanese and Korean rivals in a bid to maintain its position as India’s number one car company.

Of course, this isn’t the first time an automaker has run into bother with its car names. Chevrolet famously had problems with its Nova car in Latin America markets as the name translates as “no go” in Spanish. As for Honda, it soon learned that Fitta was, in some Scandinavian countries, a slang term for a woman’s genitalia. The company renamed it.

Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Cars

Waymo becomes the first company to charge for rides in self-driving cars

Waymo has launched a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in the Phoenix area. It's the first U.S. company to generate revenue by putting passengers in autonomous cars. Waymo One is only available to a select group of…
Cars

Bosch is developing a Rosetta Stone for autonomous and connected cars

Bosch and start-up Veniam want to create a common language that autonomous and connected cars can use. The two firms have developed a connectivity unit that transcends the national boundaries of technology.
Cars

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.
Cars

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
News

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Cars

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.
Cars

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.