No Longer Going Viral, Tata Motors’ Zica (Not Zika) is Now the Tiago

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Source: Green Car Reports

Tata Motors‘ marketing division is breathing a bit easier these days.

Earlier this month, MetalMiner reported that one of India’s auto majors was suddenly saddled with a name problem for a key, new product. Its latest hatchback, named Zica, launched recently, sounded similar to the dreaded virus Zika.

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The top honchos at India’s fifth-biggest automaker, which owns the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, went into a huddle, wondering how they would be able to tackle the branding problem. Now, after an interesting exercise, the car has had an image makeover and has been renamed, officially, as Tiago. And, yes, this is the same car which is being endorsed by none other than world soccer player of the year Lionel Messi.

From Zica to Tiago

For months, the marketing division spent thousands of dollars promoting the former Zica’s, now Tiago, promotional activities, until that pesky Zika virus came along and infected not just its victims, but Zica’s worldwide brand value.

Tim Leverton and Mayank Pareek at the official unveiling of the new Tata Zica at an auto show in Goa last December. Source: Tata Motors

Tim Leverton and Mayank Pareek at the official unveiling of the new Tata Zica at an auto show in Goa last December. Source: Tata Motors

“Empathizing 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 in a statement.

The Tiago will cost about $5,800 and will come in gasoline engine and diesel versions. Tata Motors will apply for regulatory registrations, with the aim of formally launching Tiago to the market by the end of March, it said in a statement.

Still Fantastico?

So, how did the auto major zero in on the name Tiago? Here’s how: The Tata Tiago name was chosen after a global crowd-sourcing competition called “#FantasticoNameHunt” was conducted in which fans got to vote for their preferred new name from a shortlist of 3 suggestions — Tiago, Adore, and Civet. Tiago beat the other two.

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Auto analysts are hopeful that the name change may yet save the day for this new hatchback, after it was launched at the Auto Expo in New Delhi earlier in February. Zica, by the way, stood for “zippy car.”

The author, Sohrab Darabshaw, contributes an Indian perspective on industrial metals markets to MetalMiner.

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