Begins selling Jet Ski Watercraft
Kawasaki sought to develop a new product powered by a gasoline engine other than motorcycles in order to expand its consumer product business. In 1971, management decided to enter the marine recreational product field and a Marine Project Team was formed at the Company. During team discussions, the concept of a new product gradually took shape. A product in a completely new category, which enables people to enjoy waterskiing, a popular marine sport of the day, by themselves, without a boat-that became the basic concept of the Jet Ski watercraft.
In 1973, at Akashi Works, Kawasaki developed a new product (product code: WSAA) by installing a 2-stroke, 2-cylinder, 398 cm3 engine designed based on those for snowmobiles. The product was named Jet Ski, and became a registered trademark of Kawasaki. After obtaining a positive response from trial sales in the U.S., the Company began mass production. In 1975, Jet Ski production was shifted to the Lincoln Plant, Nebraska, and full-scale manufacturing of the JS400 commenced. In 1980, Kawasaki started to sell Jet Ski watercraft in Japan.