Tata Motors invites suggestions to rename its hatchback

Mumbai, Feb 5 (IANS) Automobile major Tata Motors on Friday invited suggestions on a new name for its hatchback which was earlier brought in as Zica.

The company initiated the process through crowd-sourcing activity — “#Fantastico Name Hunt.”

“The company will be looking forward to suggestions from its fans and audiences around the world to share what they think should be the name of the car,” the automobile major said in a statement.

According to the company, it expects to receive suggestion entries through its social media channels over the next three days.

“The hunt for the new name will end at 23:59 IST, 18:29 GMT and 13:29 EST on 7th of February, 2016,” the statement pointed out.

“The company will further shortlist these entries for viewers to vote for their favourite name.”

The company elaborated that “one of the lucky contestant” whose selection matches the final name, stands a chance to win the car (if within India) or win a reward of equal value if located outside India.

The company is conducting the activity on social media and mobile platforms like Facebook, Twitter, SMS and WhatsApp.

On Tuesday, automobile major decided to rename its soon-to-be launched hatchback, whose ‘Zica’ name was derived from “Zippy Car”. ‘Zica’ unfortunately turned out to be similar to the “Zika” virus that has burst upon the world scene recently and assumed epidemic proportions in South America.

“Empathising with the hardships being caused by the recent Zika virus outbreak across many countries, Tata Motors, as a socially responsible company, has decided to re-brand the car,” the company said.

The automobile manufacturer elaborated that the new car is backed by Tata Motors’ “Made of Great” campaign, with the motto — “What drives us from within is what makes us great.”

The new car is being showcased publicly for the first time at the ongoing Auto Expo 2016 in Greater Noida.

“While it will carry the ‘Zica’ label for the duration of the event (Auto Expo), the new name will be announced after a few weeks, ensuring all necessary consumer/branding and regulatory aspects are addressed, and the launch will take place thereafter,” the statement added.

The Zika virus, native to parts of Africa and Asia, has for the first time been introduced into the Americas where it is spreading locally among people who have not travelled abroad.

There is currently no vaccine against the virus or antiviral treatment.

Zika is generally a mild illness, spread by a day-biting mosquito. However, there is a worrisome, but as of yet unproven, association of infected mothers in Brazil giving birth to babies with small heads and underdeveloped brains, said a research letter published in leading British medical journal The Lancet.

There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of babies born with this condition, known as microcephaly, since Zika first appeared in Brazil in May 2015, researchers said.

More than 22 countries in the Americas have reported the sporadic Zika virus infections, indicating its rapid geographic expansion.

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