Hours after Hyundai failed to provide a satisfactory response for the ‘Kashmir solidarity’ message uploaded on social media platforms by its dealer in Pakistan, Indian netizens initiated a social media campaign to boycott the South Korean automotive manufacturer.

‘#Boycott Hyundai’ began trending on Twitter as lakhs of people displayed their angst against the automobile manufacturer for posting a pusillanimous clarification after outrage swept the micro-blogging platform over social media posts that undermined India’s territorial integrity.

One CA Ashutosh Soni informed that he had cancelled the booking of Hyundai Verna after witnessing the anti-India stance of the company. He wrote, “I booked Hyundai Verna a month ago & it was due to be delivered this month but after seeing #HyundaiPakistan post, supporting separatism in #Kashmir, India, cancelled the Verna & called the Honda outlet and taken the delivery of Honda City today itself. #BoycottHyundai, that’s it!”

Another Twitter user stated, “That’s why Make in India is necessary. My next car will be Tata Motors. Bye Bye Hyundai India. #BoycottHyundai”

After an alleged Kia dealer and Hyundai dealer from Pakistan posted a message supporting ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ on February 5, netizens want to boycott the brands.

The Hyundai dealer supported ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ on February 5, which led to the trend #BoycottHyundai on Twitter especially among right-wing handles, and the trend #BoycottKiaMotors followed.

“We stand United for the freedom of Kashmir, an alleged Kia Motors – Crossroads dealer from Pakistan’s Hyderabad shared on social media on February 5, the same day the Hyundai post was made.

Hyundai Motor India, in an official statement earlier, said the company stands strong respecting nationalism after a massive social media outrage over a Pakistan dealer’s message supporting separatists in Kashmir.

Kia Motors India, however, have not yet released any official statement so far, addressing the issue. Here’s how netizens have been urging people to boycott both Hyundai and Kia on Twitter.

Isuzu Motors Pakistan handles also took social media to extend their support to “Kashmir Solidarity Day”. The day is observed by some across the border to show solidarity and support with separatist elements working on the Indian side. Indian Twitterati, therefore, rightly expressed their angst against the Isuzu Motors India as the matter is a very important and delicate one.

One Insta user not.really.socrates wrote, “After the launch of the Hilux, jo Isuzu ka market hai woh bhi nahi bachega.”

Another user happie_boii wrote, “Don’t even need hashtags to boycott u (isuzu).”

Without directly addressing the issue, HMIL in its statement said that “unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending our unparalleled commitment and service to this great country”.

“Hyundai Motor India has been committed to 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 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,” the statement said.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has asked automaker Hyundai to be more forceful in its unequivocal apology over social media posts by Hyundai’s Pakistan partner on Kashmir. “Government has asked company to be more forceful in unequivocal apology,” Goyal told the Rajya Sabha in the ongoing Budget session.

Hyundai today issued a fresh statement that it condones the action of the Pakistani dealer, which tweeted in support of the separatists in Kashmir. The company stated that it clearly against its policy that the independently-owned distributor in Pakistan made unauthorized Kashmir-related social media posts.

“As a business policy, Hyundai Motor Company does not comment on political or religious issues in any specific region. Therefore, it is clearly against Hyundai Motor’s policy that the independently-owned distributor in Pakistan made unauthorized Kashmir-related social media posts from their own accounts.

Once the situation was brought to our attention, we made the distributor acutely aware of the inappropriateness of the action. We have since taken measures to ensure the distributor, which misused the Hyundai brand identity, has removed the social media posts and we have put in place processes to prevent a future recurrence. Our subsidiary, Hyundai Motor India, is not associated with the distributor in Pakistan, and we strongly reject the distributor’s unauthorized non-business related social media activity.

NC

Ka-Chow!