South Korea's Hyundai Motor said on Tuesday it deeply regrets any offence caused to Indians by an "unauthorised" tweet from the account of its Pakistan partner that expressed solidarity for the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
"As a business policy, Hyundai Motor Company does not comment on political or religious issues in any specific region," Hyundai said in a Twitter post.
The company said its independently-owned distributor in Pakistan made "unauthorised" IIOJK-related social media posts from its accounts, and "misused the Hyundai brand identity".
"We deeply regret any offence caused to the people of India by this unofficial social media activity. We have put in place processes to prevent a future recurrence," Hyundai said.
Hyundai's apology comes after it faced calls for a boycott by hundreds of social media users in India, which considers the whole of Kashmir as part of the country — a position rejected by Pakistan. The social media users said the company must apologise for being insensitive to India's position in the decades-old dispute.
Hyundai is India's second-largest car seller after Maruti Suzuki, selling close to half a million vehicles in the country in the last fiscal year and exporting over a million units, making it India's largest car exporter.
The row erupted on Sunday, a day after Pakistan marked the annual Kashmir Solidarity Day. Posts on behalf of Hyundai's partner, the Nishat Group, appeared on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram commemorating the sacrifices of Kashmiris struggling for self-determination.
The Nishat Group, Pakistan's largest business conglomerate, did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.