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Zika infects Tata's Zica

Published:Sunday | February 7, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Tata Zica
Tata Nano, touted in India as the cheapest car in the world

An intense advertising campaign for a new hatchback that Indian manufacturer Tata has pinned high hopes on - the model's ambassador is multiple time World Footballer of the Year Lionel Mess - has taken a bow from the Zika virus.

Although the mosquito borne (and to a far lesser extent sexually transmitted) illness has not yet affected India and is very unlikely to, the widespread nature of what has been named a global epidemic has meant that the name association is with the sickness rather than the new automobile.

Tata announced last week that the vehicle's name will be changed before it is made available to the public. The new name is yet to be decided. There are no plans to export the hatchback.

cheapest car

Tata buses were once a fixture on rural routes in Jamaica. More recently, there was an attempt to introduce the Tata Nano, touted in India as the cheapest car in the world, into Jamaica. While a number were sold and can still be seen on Kingston's streets, the dealer who introduced the Nano left the country and Carman took over marketing the automobile in Jamaica.

However, Carmax's legal issues have left the Nano's future up in the air. The Nano has also come in for some criticism, especially at the official launch of the 2014 ADA Motor Show, held at the National Arena, Independence Park, Arthur Wint Drive, St Andrew.

The Tata Zica is not the only car with a name which may attract unintended, unwelcome attention. The Toyota Isis is a seven-seater station wagon which is imported second-hand into Jamaica from Japan. So far, having the same name as the infamous armed group embroiled in conflict in the Middle East has not affected the model.

- MC