Hyundai Motor Company does not comment on political or religious issues in any specific region, the South Korean carmaker said on Tuesday as boycott calls for the brand continued in India after social media handle of its Pakistan unit posted a message on Kashmir.
Hyundai Motor said social media posts by its independently-owned distributor in Pakistan are “unauthorised” and that the carmaker’s India subsidiary is not associated with the Pakistan distributor. The Pakistan handle’s posts have been taken down, Hyundai said.The row erupted on Sunday, a day after Pakistan marked “Kashmir Solidarity Day” and the posts supporting separatists in Kashmir, on behalf of Hyundai’s partner Nishat Group, appeared on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
— Hyundai India (@HyundaiIndia) February 8, 2022
Following this, social media users in India were outraged. But, before lambasting the automaker, they questioned Hyundai India if it endorsed the stand of Hyundai Pakistan.
Hyundai’s India unit said that it has a "zero tolerance policy towards insensitive communication and we strongly condemn any such view".
Hyundai India is bearing the brunt of the huge backlash online and calls for boycott of its cars in India, long a significant market.
"Hyundai Motor Company has been investing in India for many decades and remains strongly committed to Indian customers. We deeply regret any offense caused to the people of India by this unofficial social media activity," the parent company said.
Hyundai is India’s second-largest car seller after Maruti Suzuki selling close to half a million vehicles in the country last fiscal year and exporting over a million units, making it India’s largest car exporter.
Similarly, fast-food chains KFC and Pizza Hut too faced online backlash after their Pakistan handles shared social media messages supporting separatists in Kashmir.
“We deeply apologise for a post that was published on some KFC social media channels outside the country. We honour and respect India, and remain steadfast in our commitment to serving all Indians with pride," according to a message on KFC India official account on Twitter.