The rapidly-spreading Zika virus has found an unlikely victim - Indian carmaker Tata Motors Ltd. The carmaker recently announced a decision to rename its soon-to-be-launched hatchback, which was to have been known as Zica.
Of course no one had ever heard of the Zika virus a few short months ago, and Zica no doubt seemed like a clever short form for ‘Zippy Car.’ But when the mosquito-borne virus was declared an international health emergency, the automaker had 2nd thoughts.
Tata Motors, part of the Tata Group, one of India's largest conglomerates, said it would decide on a new name for the car after a few weeks.
The world’s 18th largest automaker is seeking an image makeover with the curvaceous hatchback, which is being endorsed by world soccer player of the year Lionel Messi.
It’s not the 1st time automakers have run into name problems, though it appears to be the 1st involving a disease. The Chevy Nova was literally a no-go in Spanish-speaking countries, as it translates to ‘It doesn’t go.’ The Buick LaCrosse ran into a marketing swamp in Quebec, as ‘LaCrosse’ is Quebecois slang for masturbation.
And, of course, the AMC Gremlin and Dodge Swinger were just bad ideas, in any language.