Tata to re­name Zika-sound­ing car

Lesotho Times - - Cartoons & Puzzles -

MUM­BAI — The rapidly-spread­ing Zika virus has an un­likely vic­tim - In­dian car­maker Tata Mo­tors Ltd.

The car­maker said on Tues­day it had de­cided to re­name its soon-to-be-launched hatch­back Zica, short for Zippy Car, af­ter the mos­quito-borne virus was de­clared an in­ter­na­tional health emer­gency.

Tata Mo­tors, part of the Tata Group, one of In­dia’s largest con­glom­er­ates, said it would de­cide on a new name for the hatch­back af­ter a few weeks.

It is due to show­case the car in the bi­en­nial New Delhi mo­tor show start­ing Wed­nes­day.

The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion has said Zika is “spread­ing ex­plo­sively” and could in­fect as many as 4 mil­lion peo­ple in the Amer­i­cas.

Tata Mo­tors is seek­ing an im­age makeover with the cur­va­ceous hatch­back, which is be­ing en­dorsed by world soc­cer player of the year Lionel Messi.

In­dia’s fifth-big­gest au­tomaker, which owns the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, has strug­gled to dis­pel per­cep­tions of cheap­ness since re­leas­ing its Nano cars seven years ago cost­ing un­der $3 000 (about M48 089).

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