Tweet on Kashmir: Hyundai apologises
Expresses regret for an ‘unauthorised’ tweet by its Pakistani partner on Kashmir and has got the offending post deleted
• A Twitter account of a Hyundai dealer in Pakistan had posted a message supporting Kashmir Solidarity Day
• Deeply regretting any offence caused to the people of India by this unofficial social media activity: Hyundai Motor
• Opposition raises the issue in Rajya Sabha
• This issue has been taken up both with the govt there and the company concerned: Goyal
New Delhi: South Korea's Hyundai Motor on Tuesday expressed regret for an 'unauthorised' tweet by its Pakistani partner on Kashmir and has got the offending post deleted, but not before it faced calls for a boycott of its cars and the Indian government curtly telling it to be more forceful in its unequivocal apology. As tweets from accounts linked to Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Corp expressing solidarity with separate Kashmir kicked a row on Sunday, the South Korean firm on that day responded saying it has "zero-tolerance policy towards insensitive communication and we strongly condemn any such view".
But, as the furore refused to die down and the government stepped in, Hyundai on Tuesday issued a statement saying "deeply regretting any offence caused to the people of India by this unofficial social media activity". Hyundai Motor Company, it said, "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 unauthorised Kashmir-related social media posts from their own accounts," it said, adding it has ensured that the offensive tweets are deleted. The issue figured in the Rajya Sabha where Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said the government has asked Hyundai Motors to be more forceful in its unequivocal apology. "This issue has been taken up both with the government there and the company concerned," Goyal said. "They (Hyundai) have already issued a clarification yesterday. We have also asked them to be more forceful in their unequivocal apology on this issue." A Twitter account of a Hyundai dealer in Pakistan with handle @hyundaiPakistanOfficial had posted a message supporting Kashmir Solidarity Day, backing what it called as "struggle for freedom".
#BoycottHyundai were among the top trends on Twitter in India on Monday, as tweeteratis called for dumping the second-largest carmaker in the country for Tata Motors. Stressing that Hyundai Motor Company has been investing in India for many decades and "remains strongly committed to Indian customers", the company in the statement said, "We deeply regret any offence caused to the people of India by this unofficial social media activity". The company further said once the situation was brought to its attention, it 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," the statement said. Clarifying that its subsidiary Hyundai Motor India is not associated with the distributor in Pakistan, the company said, "We strongly reject the distributor's unauthorised non-business-related social media activity". On Sunday, Hyundai's India unit had stated that "the unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending our unparalleled commitment and service to this great country".