BMW X3 prototype causes New York bomb scare

There's no such thing as bad publicity the saying goes. Well, BMW's head of product planning for North America has pushed that sentiment to the limit by reportedly triggering a bomb scare when he left a camouflaged prototype X3 parked outside a museum in New York.

A dog walker, clearly unused to the sight of a deliberately disguised SUV, called the police when she noticed the BMW's engine had been left running.

Coming a week after a car bomb was discovered in Times Square, the New Yorker's nervousness was understandable, and the police responded by evacuating the surrounding streets and sliding into bomb disposal gear.

Martin Birkmann (Dickens himself couldn't have dreamed up a better surname) was the hapless BMW exec at the centre of the story, and doubtless he'll spend the next six months living down this particular visit to Central Park.

Fortunately New York's finest resisted the urge to do anything more extreme to the innocent prototype than smash its rear window to take a look inside.
Pretty embarrassing for Birkmann and BMW, but at least the new X3 got more newspaper coverage than it could have otherwise ever hoped for. There's probably someone in the brand's marketing department highlighting that fact at this very moment.

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