The controversy further triggered when the Hyundai Pakistan and Hyundai India's Twitter handles were made private and the tweets protected

It all started with a tweet. The Hyundai controversy was triggered by a social media post on February 5 from the handle of its Pakistan unit that read, "Remembering sacrifices of Kashmiri brothers." In no time, Hyundai India had to bear the brunt of a huge backlash online which calls for boycott of its cars in the country, a significant market for the carmaker.

Pakistan observes February 5 as Kashmir Day. In an attempt to counter the huge controversy, the South Korean carmaker declared its commitment to the Indian market, stating its stands for strong ethos of respecting the public sentiments.

In its statement on February 6, the company said, "Hyundai Motor India has been committed to the Indian market for more than 25 years now and we stand firmly for our ethos of respecting nationalism."

India is the second home to the Hyundai brand, said the company. Hyundai Motor India is the second-largest carmaker in the country after Maruti Suzuki India. It currently sells 12 models including Creta and Venue in the domestic market. In December last year, the automaker announced plans to invest around Rs 4,000 crore to drive in around six electric vehicles in India by 2028.

"The unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending or unparalleled commitment and service to this great country. India is the second home to the Hyundai brand we have a zero-tolerance policy towards insensitive communication and strongly condemn any such view," wrote the carmaker.

However, it seems the company has reacted late.

How The Controversy Started

Twitter handle of Hyundai Pakistan Official (@PakistanHyundai) wrote on February 5, "Let us remember the sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers and stand in support as they continue to struggle for freedom."

They also added a picture of a boat in Dal Lake and the word 'Kashmir' juxtaposed with a barbed wire. The tweet was in solidarity with Pakistan commemorating February 5 as Kashmir Day.

Netizens, including Indians, were miffed by this. They questioned Hyundai India if it endorsed the stand of Hyundai Pakistan. But, adding to the woes, the firm responded by blocking some Indian netizens.

Soon the hashtag #BoycottHyundai started trending on the social media platform and with thousands of tweets, it quickly rose to the number one spot.

The controversy further triggered when the Hyundai Pakistan and Hyundai India's Twitter handles were made private and the tweets protected.

Hyundai India even blocked some Twitter users over their posts, users alleged. One Twitter user, with the handle @Rockumon wrote, "You can protect your tweets but not business."

Several angry Twitter users claimed that they would cancel their bookings with the South Korean carmaker conglomerate and switch to Indian car companies.

Other Indian Twitter users added screenshots of the Hyundai India Twitter handle blocking them for posting their objection to the said tweet by Hyundai Pakistan.

A Facebook post too, was made sharing the poster commemorating February 5 as Kashmir Day. Both the Twitter and Facebook posts were later removed by the company after backlash.

Observed as 'Kashmir Solidarity Day', 5 February is a public holiday in Pakistan, to show the country's support for the separatist movement in Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian businessman and columnist Suhel Seth reacted by saying, "Shame on you Hyundai. Shame on you: a product of a divided nation. Shame on you for playing politics with geography rather than selling your products on the strength of their benefits. Go sell your soul to Pakistan. Because that’s all they will buy! They can’t afford your cars.