New Delhi: Tata Motors Ltd on Tuesday said that it will rename its soon-to-be launched small car Zica, as the name is associated with the dreaded Zika virus that is causing widespread infection in the Americas.

The hatchback will carry the ‘Zica’ label for the duration of the Delhi Auto Expo, to be held this week, where it is expected to be launched. The new name will be announced after a few weeks, ensuring all necessary branding and regulatory aspects are addressed, and the launch will take place thereafter, said a company statement.

“The car’s acronym was ‘Zica’, derived from ‘Zippy Car’. Empathising 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," the company said in a statement.

The World Health Organization, on Monday, declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus as an international public health emergency, based on the recommendation of a committee of independent experts.

Built at the firm’s Sanand facility in Gujarat, it is the first new car from Tata Motors in five years. The marketing campaign with Argentine footballer Lionel Messi as the brand ambassador for the hatchback started two months ago.

The small car—to be showcased publicly for the first time at the Auto Expo 2016 in New Delhi from Wednesday—is meant to drive volumes and is likely to aid in achieving the company’s target of 15% market share in the country.

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