18 December 1996 Toyota Press Release From the Newswire on their U.S. Web site
Torrance CA, December 18, 1996 -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) today announced its intention to enter the recreational boating business with the formation of a marine division. Toyota is considering producing the 1UZ 4.0-liter V8 engine, currently used in Lexus vehicles, for marine application. It could be installed in direct drive inboard water sports boats as early as 1998. Toyota’s consideration of the marine business is a result of Toyota Motor Corporation’s challenge to diversify Toyota’s global business operations. “Because this marine engine would exceed current industry standards in quality, reliability and performance, as well as low emissions,” said Doug Plescia, vice president and general manager of the marine division, “we think there is a real opportunity for Toyota to be a player in this market.” The marine division will report to TMS Group Vice President, John Turmell. The offices will be located at TMS headquarters in Torrance, Calif.