You would think a car company with BMW's brand recognition could roll out its redesigned flagship 7 Series covered in burlap at a mid-December reveal in Siberia with no concerns over public perception, but BMW apparently feels the up-and-coming Russian market needs to be romanced with a glitzy intro right in the middle of Red Square. That's where the carmaker held the official unveiling (though we already got the official photos earlier this month) July 8th.

For two days, the 7-Series was hidden in 180,000 silver balls that filled a giant glass-and-acrylic hourglass almost 40 feet tall that had been built right in front of the Kremlin. Then, on the night of the 8th, as 400 invited guests watched, the top of the hourglass emptied to reveal the car.

BMW officials say the stunt was meant to illustrate the event's tagline, "Never stand still." Hey, if it sells a few Bimmers in Russia, maybe giant hourglasses are the way to go. Still, maybe next time they should at least consider the burlap. It's gotta be cheaper than silver balls, and we'd still blog about it.

Check out a high-res gallery of photos from the event here and BMW's press release after the jump.

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[Source: World Car Fans]


A unique vehicle presentation on Red Square in Moscow (Russia) on 8 July 2008 marked the start for the BMW Group of the countdown for the European market launch of the new BMW 7 Series in the autumn of this year. With the motto "Never stand still", the world's most successful provider of premium segment automobiles had an hourglass almost twelve metres high built against the historic backdrop of St Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin. With the largest hourglass in the world, BMW impressively presented its new flagship to around 400 international guests and Moscow citizens.

Success is the driving force
The hourglass on Red Square has been attracting attention since 6 July 2008. In the upper half of the acrylic glass and steel structure stands the new BMW 7 Series - initially hidden by more than 180,000 silvery, glittering balls. These gradually dropped into the lower half, finally revealing the new BMW 7 Series completely as the high spot of the event on Tuesday evening. "The new generation of the BMW 7 Series is continuing the success story that started over 30 years ago", said Jan-Christiaan Koenders, Head of Brand Communications BMW and Group Marketing Services. "The promise that we will keep improving on our own achievements is intrinsic to our brand. The BMW 7 Series exemplifies this particular concept", says Koenders as an explanation of the idea behind the event motto "Never stand still".

Taking what has been achieved as the starting point for new outstanding achievements - this concept is also the motivation for the international artists who appeared at the vehicle presentation. These included the ballet duo Mark Peretokin and Ilze Liepa from the famous Bolshoi Theatre, the renowned conductor and orchestra and shooting star Adele. These artists use the fact that they are amongst the best in their field today as a motivation to continue to develop all the time.

A dynamic capital
"Moscow is developing at an extraordinary pace. The capital city and Russia in general are also particularly important for the BMW Group", says Christian Kremer, Managing Director of BMW Group Russia. "The Russian market plays an increasingly important role for us. Today's presentation reflects the confidence that the BMW Group has in this country's potential." The car manufacturer has been represented in the world's largest country, in terms of area, since 1992, and has had its own sales company here since 1999. By the end of 2008, the dealership network will have grown to 63 branches in 47 cities. This means that the BMW Group will be represented in all the major Russian cities. The country's economic growth is also reflected in rising sales figures for BMW Group. "Our sales of BMW and MINI vehicles have risen by 33.4 percent in the first six months in comparison with last year. It is our aim to awaken even more enthusiasm for all the BMW Group brands in Russia. Exclusive vehicle presentations, such as the showing of the new BMW 7 Series in Moscow, are one key way of doing this", continued Kremer.