Coronavirus: BMW Under Fire for 'Roadblock' Tweet Amid Pandemic Fears, Apologizes for 'Irritation'

BMW is facing backlash after it used the coronavirus pandemic to help promote the BMW i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition Coupe. In the Tuesday afternoon tweet, which has since been deleted but screenshotted by a number of social media users, the company encouraged followers to "be a roadblock of the outbreak and make your own contribution to [Flatten the Curve]" with the automobile.

The tweet immediately sparked fierce backlash, with many dubbing it as tone deaf and making light of an otherwise serious situation that is affecting people around the world.

"Their entire twitter is using the pandemic and the trending hashtags to push sales of their god awful cars," tweeted one person.

"Desperate move [BMW i], capitalizing from a human tragedy is lame," commented somebody else.

"You might be deathly ill. You might not be able to pay rent. But look at this sweet [BMW i]," added a third person. “How tone deaf can you be? How does this get approved [BMW]?”

The backlash eventually prompted the company to delete the tweet and issue an apology.

"We are sorry. Our last Tweet caused some irritation, and you were right in your criticism," the company wrote on the social media platform. "Our main intention these days is to share optimistic and helpful content to brighten up your days. We are all in this together. We can do better and we will."

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In recent days, both the BMW i and BMW Twitter accounts have jumped on the hashtags "Flatten the Curve" and "Stay Safe," both of which are now commonly used in tweets regarding the coronavirus outbreak as people encourage others to help in the efforts to slow the spread of the virus. Using the hashtags alongside images of their vehicle lineup, the company also recently put the hashtags to use for a video encouraging people to "stay safe and stay at home."

In response to the pandemic, BMW has taken a number of measures to protect its employees. According to Fox Carolina, BMW has closed its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina from March 29 through April 12. The company had previously announced that it would close the plant from April 3 through April 19.