Toyota Marine Press Conference

Toyota Marine Press Conference
at IMTEC 1997
Sept. 25, 1997

Glenn Sandridge, National Sales and Marketing Manager, was the presenter. He was formerly the VP of sales and marketing at MasterCraft.

He mentioned the engine had no plug wires.

Going for performance, comfort, and convenience.

As they put the organization together they tried to put boating people where boating people would do the best job and Toyota people where Toyota people would do the best job.

Will have technical and sales reps.

Retail reimbursements for labor and parts.

It will be the first vertically integrated boat. They will make the block, boat and drive as well as provide financing and insurance.

They have chosen not to display the boat at this time. The boat is actually shown in the backlit photo on their display booth.

First model will be the direct drive tourneyment model. It will be available August 1, 1998.

Thye have often been asked why is Toyota starting in a small niche like this. He said at first when he spoke openly of Toyota going onto other portions of the boating market later, that the Japanese leaders were nervous about the release of that intent. He told them that it was obvious to the industry so they may as well say it. Toyota intends to start out in this niche, learn the industry and then move on to other areas of the industry. "The first year Toyota sold cars in America they sold 288 cars. Last year they sold 1.1 million."

After the presentation they provided some "tasty snacks" and drinks.

Below are some items that were in the press packet handed out after the presentation.

Toyota Marine Sports
Facts Sheet


Established in 1996, Toyota Marine Sports is a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. headquartered in Torrance, Calif.


Toyota Marine Sports will offer two models of a tournament-class, direct drive inboard water sports boat in the summer of 1998.

The two models, an open- and closed-bow, will be designed, manufactured and sold in the United States


Both boats will be powered by Toyota's 1UZ, 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 300-horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.

Hull designer:

Mark McNeil, Marine Design and Development (Orlando, Fla.)

Closed-bow designer:

Mark Byrne, Indiana Marine (Angola, Ind.)

Open-bow designer:

Dave Triano, Shadow Composites (Fawnskin, Calif.)

Dealer selection:

Dealer selection will begin in late September, follwing IMTEC (International Marine Trades and Exhibit Conference).


Toyota Marine Sports, National Sales Office
7658 Municipal Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 370-7000

The national sales office handles Toyota Marine Sports business sales, marketing, dealer development, parts and service training and administration.


Richard Gallio, Toyota Marine Sports group vice president

Doug Plescia, Toyota Marine Sports group vice president and general manager


Melinda Beckett-Maines (310) 618-6721

Engine specifications

Cylinder block & head material aluminum alloy
Weight (with transmission) 628 lbs.
Engine Layout 90 degree opposed V8
Compression Ratio 10.5:1
Bore and Stroke 3.44 X 3.25 inches
Valve Train 32-valve, belt gear drive, VVT-i
Variable Valve Timing/intelligence
Horsepower 300 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 310 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm
Exhaust System stainless steel exhaust manifolds
Ignition system distributor-less
Fuel System multi-port injection
Fuel high-octane, lead free

Engine Brochure:

They had a "poster looking" brochure for the engine.

Several times it tried to associate the ski boat with the Toyota and Lexus "brands."

Large dealer territories. Only 30 charter U.S. dealers

One call, one company warranty assurance.

Parts and repairs reimbursed at retail prices.

Assigned sales and tech reps.

RBBI Comments - I have visited with Glenn Sandridge a few times in the past to call his attention to RBBI as a source of information they might be able to use during the design and marketing of the ski boat. He is a young manager and very cordial. He did a good job presenting their message.

I introduced myself to him after the presentation, as we had only spoken by phone before.

I was dissapointed not to see them show the ski boat. I've been on both sides of the fence. When I am with a manufacturer I hate to see them show products that are not real. As a show attendee I want to see what is coming in the future. Its a double edged sword. With a projected sales release date of almost a year off, its pretty easy to understand why they did not show it. From the size and empty appearance of their booth, I suspect they were considering displaying it when they reserved booth space.

Most of the OEM/factory "booth worker teams" wore team shirts. The Toyota group wore a blue button shirt that resembled a "work shirt" with no writing or printing on it. You can see them on many people in the photos. They looked very nice.

Comments on the literature and press release packet

I am very used to seeing Americanized Japanese sales literature that is on odd sized paper, the sentences sound funny, and it says printed in Japan on it somewhere. Their engine flyer was on a large 20 inch by 13 inch piece of white cardstock paper folded in half to allow printing both sides of each 10 by 13 inch page (4 page brochure). This is a bit odd for a flyer size, but every word of the content was in excellent english and very easy to understand. The piece was really a little more of a poster than a brochure.

The "press kit" was on normal 8 1/2 X 11 paper and appeared to be 100% U.S. designed and printed, except that it was "flawless." Similar U.S. pieces are full of typos. Even if you look very closely and the periods, commas, abbreviations, capital letters, etc. If they build boats like they print some of you are going to be in "deep doo-doo."


Marinized Lexus Engine

Front View

Top Rear View

Rear View

The cutout in the top left of the cowl (as seen in the front view) to accommodate some parts that did not fit under it, is not Toyota "finished product" type work. It indicates the marinization of the engine still has some work to be done. They do have almost a year to finish it and will probably do the great job we normally expect from Toyota.

Even if I do say so myself, the Rear View Photo is superb.

General Booth Snapshots



Glenn Sandridge

The booth looked more like a floral shop than a boat show booth (another jab at their lack of displaying the ski boat). We better get our jabs in now because next year they may 'kick butt".

The "executive row" during the press conference. I will try to identify these folks later.

Glenn Sandridge (National Sales & Marketing Manager for Toyota Marine Sports) delivering the comments at the press conference.

Boat Photos

Boat Sign 1

Boat Sign 2

We were told the out of focus boat in the sign panel of the booth was actually their test boat. With a little time, I think I could "crack the code" with some software I have and get it back in focus. But even if I did, I'm still not sure their would be much to see. If I get some time, I'll give it a try.

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