Hyundai has come under fire in India after its Pakistani dealer shared solidarity messages on social media over Kashmir. In a statement shared by the company’s India unit, the company emphasised its “zero-tolerance policy towards insensitive communication”.
Pakistan observes February 5 as ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ to show its support for the separatist movement in Kashmir. On Saturday, Hyundai Pakistan’s social media accounts posted a message of solidarity with the “Kashmiri brothers” in their fight for independence.
The social media post by Hyundai Pakistan read, “Let us remember the sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers and stand in support as they continue to struggle for freedom.” It also used the hashtag #KashmirSolidarityDay. Indian Twitter users posted the screenshots of the post on Twitter while asking Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) to explain its stand on the issue. Meanwhile, many Indian users also called for a boycott on Hyundai India products. Although Hyundai Pakistan deleted the posts, the hashtag #BoycottHyundai started trending on Twitter in India. In the aftermath of the controversy, Hyundai India issued a statement that stated it adheres to its “strong ethos of respecting nationalism”.
“Hyundai Motor India has been committed to the Indian market for more than 25 years now and we stand firmly for our strong ethos of respecting nationalism. The unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending our unparalleled commitment and service to this great country. India is second home to the Hyundai brand and we have a zero tolerance policy towards insensitive communication and we strongly condemn any such view. As part of our commitment to India, we will continue our efforts towards the betterment of the country as well as its citizens,” read the statement.
Furthermore, many Twitter users complained that they were blocked by Hyundai India when they sought clarification from their handle on the platform. Hyundai India and Hyundai Pakistan later made their Twitter accounts protected so that users would no longer be able to see their tweets.
HMIL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company in South Korea. Hyundai Nishat (Hyundai Pakistan) has also partnered with the Korean company to manufacture, market, and distribute its product line in Pakistan.