At Knibbe Ranch in Spring Branch, Texas, the annual Truck Rodeo hosted by the Texas Auto Writers Association is over, the trucks and SUV’s entered in the 2011 Truck of Texas competition are being loaded to return to the manufacturers and the Texas Auto Writers have voted on their choice for the 2011 Truck of Texas.
The Truck of Texas for 2011 will be announced by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) at the end of this weekend.
In 2010, the Ram Brand of trucks from Chrysler surprised the industry by winning most of the categories and the prestigious 2010 Truck of Texas grand award with their Ram 1500 series of trucks. You have all seen the TV ads featuring voice over by Sam Elliott during this past year that Ram has used to feature that award and those trucks in the market place. Texas is by far the largest truck market in the US with more than 20% of all trucks being sold in the US, being sold in Texas. The global manufacturers of Pick up trucks, SUV’s and CUV’s consider this competition and award essential to their success in marketing and selling their vehicles in Texas and surrounding states. Therefore, they send their very best and make every effort to win.
For 2011, manufacturers showcased new and/or improved features that are going to be included in their 2012 models and one manufacturer even introduced two new models (first time ever at Truck Rodeo) into their pick up truck line on Friday morning as the competition opened. In the pick up truck and off road vehicles in particular, there were a lot more luxury and feature/function options being shown including enhanced electronics for ease and safety in off road driving along with more powerful as well as more efficient engines. We will be reporting on many of these in the days to come.
For 2011, the competition promised to be and was indeed very intense as 62 print, broadcast, electronic and social media members of the Texas Auto Writers Association descended on Knibbe Ranch in Spring Branch Texas Friday and Saturday. The task to drive this year’s entries on the challenging off road course in order to test a broad range of features and functions of the vehicles in order to select the winner for the various categories and the grand award of the Truck of Texas.
There were fourteen manufacturers brands represented among 46 vehicles entered in he categories. The categories included SUV’s, CUV’s and Pick up Trucks in the various sizes from luxury through full size to medium and compact. Well over 100 support personnel were on hand from the various manufacturers to insure that their entries performed at their best during the over 1700 runs made by TAWA members in this group of vehicles over this course. Course hazards included fording creeks, climbing steep embankments and rock faces with steep descents following and long runs along rough ranch roads between hazards. For those vehicles in some categories not truly four wheel, a companion, but less challenging course was provided along with some highway driving to show the capability of the vehicles.
The 2011 competition was the largest and best attended in the history of the Annual Truck Rodeo competition hosted by the Texas Auto Writers Association.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the winners and the coveted grand award for Truck of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers Association