Entrepreneur and hip-hop music mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who was in a Lincoln Navigator sport-utility vehicle that tried to evade police after a 1999 New York nightclub shooting, now plans to sell a line of high-price, customised “Sean John” Navigators named after his successful clothing line, USA Today reported.
Lincoln is “glad to see it,” spokesman Todd Nissen told the newspaper, and isn’t worried that the New York incident will taint Lincoln’s image. The Sean John Navigator “is an extension of the brand” into markets where buyers might otherwise overlook Lincoln, he reportedly said.
“It may turn off some people, but in the main, probably not,” marketing consultant Dan Gorrell of Strategic Vision told USA Today. “It might add some allure and cachet,” he reportedly added.
According to the newspaper, Combs and his driver were acquitted in the 1999 incident which drew unusual attention partly because Combs’ then-girlfriend, actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, was in the fleeing Navigator. She was not charged.
USA Today said Combs showed a prototype of the modified Navigator at the MTV awards and plans to have it at the BET awards program in Los Angeles later this month.
Combs plans to sell 100 of the modified, $US85,000 Navigators through yet-to-be-selected Lincoln dealerships beginning August 1, Josh Taekman, former executive at Combs’ Bad Boy record label and now president of New York marketing firm Buzztone, told USA Today, which noted that Taekman was involved in the development of the vehicle.
Normal retail price for a Navigator is about $55,000, the paper said.
According to USA Today, Sean John Navigators will be all black with Sean John emblems. They will sport big wheels, tinted windows, satellite radio, three DVD players, six TV screens, a Sony PlayStation 2, heated and vibrating front seats, and a designer clock.
Lincoln officials told the paper they have not put the modified SUV through routine crash tests and other evaluations. The normal four-year or 50,000-mile Lincoln warranty doesn’t apply to Combs’ modifications but does cover the rest of the Navigator, Lincoln reportedly added.
USA Today noted that big SUVs are favourites of sports and music stars.
Basketball star Shaquille O’Neal marketed a $56,900, 2002 Ford Expedition, which is similar to the Navigator, called Shaq SST. Cadillac’s Escalade, rival to the Navigator, is also popular and is featured in rap music videos, the paper added.