Truck Makers Take the Truck Wars to Texas

Texas Edition GM II

To call Texas the most important state in the country would likely tick off a lot of people. However, if you were talking about pickup truck sales, you'd be absolutely correct.

According to recent sales data from R.L. Polk & Co., as reported by Automotive News (subscription required), one in six pickup trucks produced in the U.S. are sold in Texas. In fact, the combined pickup sales in the cities of Dallas and Houston number more sales than in any other state.

It's no wonder pickup manufacturers pour so many sales resources into the Lone Star State in order to influence buying patterns. As you might imagine (especially with the new 2014 models replacing a 7-year-old truck), General Motors is getting ready to mount a full-blown assault on new-truck buyers or those who have moved on to other brands.

GM has allocated a huge marketing budget for Texas in order to overthrow the recent (since 2008) success Ford has enjoyed with full-size pickup buyers, especially those with bigger crew cab models. In the last five years, Ford's market share has grown five points.

GM's assault is taking place at home-improvement centers and shows, rodeos, outdoor festivals — everywhere truck buyers might gather. But we don't expect Ford or Ram Truck to sit on their backsides. We're already hearing this will be one of the biggest years in a long time for upgraded truck displays and attention-getting pickup models at the State Fair of Texas. And why not? Now that the Texas economy is running at full speed, the stakes — and profits — are high for truck makers with all-new pickups (Chevy, GMC and Ram) and others with new models on the horizon (Toyota, Nissan and Ford).

Some experts are talking about the segment getting back to the 2 million-unit mark this year, but in order for that to happen some of the Texas truck magic will have to spread to other states, and we're not seeing that right now. Regardless, this truck war should be fun to watch play out on national television, in the media and in our local home improvement store parking lots.

Save the date: Our annual State Fair of Texas coverage will begin Sept. 25; the fair runs Sept. 27 to Oct. 20.

 

Comments

I live in Austin and there are so many 2014 trucks on dealer lots. I'm already seeing them on the highways and neighborhoods as I drive to and from work every day. When they said they were going to ship most of their trucks to Texas first, they weren't kidding. The one thing I don't like is seeing the high end LTZ with the "Texas Edition" badges on it! The Texas edition use to be the "wanna bee" for lower end models that made them look like the high end LTZ's with all the chrome. It doesn't make sense for them to change their strategy and now offer the LTZ's with this package?!! Why?? The LTZ already comes with the chrome treatment, why do you need to cheapen the look with "Texas Edition" badges all over it? First thing I would do is strip those badges off the truck. This is one major F*** up by GM. Their marketing strategy keeps changing and no one there knows their ass from a hole in the ground. I like the LTZ trucks to have body colored mirror caps and door handles, now the opposite has happened, the lower end LT models have the body colored ones and the LTZ has chrome. I know this is in line with the full size SUV's, but why change it all of a sudden? Total B.S from GM again. To me, the "Texas Edition" package on the LTZ is a way of adding on to the sticker price and padding their pockets, otherwise, it makes no sense. Shame on GM!

By the way, I believe GM came up with the Texas Edition because customers really like the chrome look on the trucks and it really stood out. Now, there isn't much of a differentiation between the LT models and the LTZ models except for the headlights. On Ford trucks, you can clearly see the difference between the Platinum, King Ranch, and Limited models versus the XLT and Lariat models. The LTZ and High Country models should have some distinguishing exterior features other than headlights if they expect consumers to pay so much more money for them. I like how the Ford Platinum trim looks compared to the rest of their lineup. GM just hasn't figured it out yet, they're playing follow the leader with Ford and trying to mix it up a little and they're failing miserably. They put so much effort into the drivetrain and interior of the trucks but completely ignored the exterior, in my opinion. In fact, they've really blurred the lines as far as trim levels and packaging, if anything. Total Fail by GM, the trucks just don't stand out much from the 2013's which is a real shame. Why spend all that money coming out with an "all new" truck if it's not really going to look all that different than the current (and old) model? I think GM did a great job on the drivetrain, but my God, we have another Malibu fiasco on our hands with the exterior. Whomever is in charge of the packaging and trim of these trucks needs to be fired! Total fail.

GM or Dodge, both good choices. Ford, I don't know what to think about that twin turbo v6.

That TT V6 is friggin awesome, you wouldn't know AWESOME if it kicked you in ass, Brett. TROLL!

@Chris - what you are observing in Texas explains why I haven't seen many Ram 5.7 8 speeds in dealer inventories in British Columbia Canada.
Three new 2014 GMC siblings just showed up on the GM lot in my town last weekend.

Friend has the F150 max tow with the eco-boost. We towing for a CGVWR of 21K this weekend up a 12% grade. It did excellent. Just as good as any diesel.

From a diesel guy I was truely impressed.

Engine coolant ran at 239 and tranny at 221F. At the top of the run (1.5 mi) it cooled very quickly. Lots of power.

Fortunately I don't live in Texas, so I don't have to see those badges, good or bad. However, maybe because I simply don't want to pay attention to all the different trim levels I will note that there are very few of the Ford models that look anything at all different, and those are the base model with the blacked-out grill surround, all those others that mimic the Big Rig look with all that chrome on the surround and the few--like the King Ranch--that don't use all that chrome. Of those three styles, I prefer the body-colored surround because it doesn't exaggerate an already-too-large grill.

That's totally ignoring the fact that I don't like Ford's overall quality where every Ford I've owned has been a money pit and almost everyone I know that does own a Ford either loves it or hates it--nobody I know is neutral about it. Rarely do I see that level of love/hate for any other brand they own with the exception of the Jeep Wrangler--where the Love/Hate relationship is between different generations, not the vehicle itself.

Chrysler may have originally started that Big Rig wannabe look, but they've managed to keep it somewhat subdued and later models just don't seem to look as big in the grill as the early ones. Maybe they finally understood that it was making their trucks ugly. Of course, for '13 they did something else that makes me hate them even more, but then so did Ford while GMC/Chevy at least keeps the extended cab LOOKING like a 2-door by not making the door handles so obvious. Now, whether the '14 GM twins kept that I don't know yet, but I simply don't like that look on a truck and have no NEED for a crew cab when an extended cab is more than enough.

I'm quite willing to bet that Texas will be the LAST state to see the new mid-size or smaller trucks when they do finally hit the market again.

"That's totally ignoring the fact that I don't like Ford's overall quality where every Ford I've owned has been a money pit and almost everyone I know that does own a Ford either loves it or hates it--nobody I know is neutral about it. Rarely do I see that level of love/hate for any other brand they own with the exception of the Jeep Wrangler--where the Love/Hate relationship is between different generations, not the vehicle itself."

Some people have way better luck than you! Also, maintenance is key, not that I care what you did or not.

@Vulpine
I would like to add...fortunately...you do not live in Texas. And I would caution to keep your wallet in your pocket when it comes to betting that Texas would be the LAST state to see the new mid-size, smaller or any other kind of truck in the world. Guess you missed that part about Texas being the most important state by far in the truck selling business. Probably best for you to stay in the state you live in that I would bet is not the most important state for anything.

@Chris

Are you a 14 year old girl? What is with all the "total fail, big fail" comments? I don't think you are a good judge of failures judging by your article you wrote. For some reason chrome is what alot of truck buyers want, most companies use Chrome to distinguish the high end, look at ford and their half chrome tailgate or Dodge and their Chrome, Gm is no different just giving the consumer what they want.

@Scott

Just as good as an diesel? That is one of the funniest things I have heard in a while, good one. Now will you tell us how it really did? A diesel would accelerate up that grade, what road was this that had a 12% grade?

@Vulpine

I'm your huckleberry; i will take that bet. Not a chance Texas will be the last, they will be first just like with the full sizes getting most of the allocation.

Here is an idea if GM is making an assult on the Texas State fair, maybe they can do something with the reintroduction of Big Tex? Maybe have a new silverado haul it's belt buckle to be put in place or something along that nature? That will be a big event and a great opportunity for more press...

I was looking at some Chevy trucks over the weekend. I was asked what I thought about them. I went on to explain how I wasnt particularly fond of them (like the GMC). Then one of the Chevy guys asked a woman and here husband what they thought of the new Silverado. She responded with "I really like them it looks like something we used to have in the 80s and 90s." The Chevy dealer just responded with "oh" and walked off to talk with other people.

Have any of you guys attended Texas State Fair? Is it worth going to for out of state-ers?

For all of those wanting to take me up on my wager I have only one question for you:

If Texans only want BIG trucks, why would anyone imagine that smaller trucks would be popular there? It's simply not logical. Texas is the least likely state to offer a realistic viewpoint as to how popular a smaller truck would be.

Or are you telling me that Ford Rangers, Chevy Colorados and Ram Dakotas are running rampant throughout the state?

@Frank: I'm not the only one who has had bad luck with Ford's products. While I don't argue that in some ways they may be the best available, in other ways their reliability is questionable at best.

Personally, I don't like the way that even in the just-finished shootout, the Ford truck had the most fade in braking with a load--taking more than 12 feet longer than when empty when all the others only took 6 feet or less. But then, that's not a service issue, is it? Then again, all three US brands have decided to make their extended cab models look like all-out 4-doors, killing any of the 2-door aesthetic that the previous models had.

@Tyler- you are a moron. Did you fully understand my "article?" I'm not saying that they shouldn't offer chrome on their trucks, in fact the 1st sentence of my 2nd article says that, moron. My rant was about the fact that GM has reversed how they package the trim on these trucks from what they've done for the last 9 years! For the last 9 years, the "Texas Edition" was only found on all trim levels below the top of the line, LTZ. The LTZ use to come with body colored mirrors, door handles, and front bumper while the "Texas Edition" came with all that dressed in chrome. For 2014, everything below the LTZ has body colored mirrors and door handles, even with the "Texas Edition" and the only trim that has chrome is the LTZ, with or without the "Texas Edition." It's going to confuse a lot of people because for the last 9 years the "Texas Edition" meant a fully chromed trim and was the reason the "Texas Edition" was started to begin with.

So before you open your uneducated ignorant mouth, try to comprehend and keep up with the big boys. Your stupidity is pretty noticeable.

Also, a lot of people have talked about how the exterior of the new trucks is dull and boring. Nothing new to be excited about, nothing to really distinguish them from the previous generation. To me, that's a fail, much like your previous post.

@Vulpine

The stereotype that "everything is bigger in Texas" is just that. Texas is known for the sheer number of trucks that are purchased here. I don't remember reading anywhere that full-size trucks are the only trucks in play here. I'm sure if you ask Toyota, they would tell you that they sell more Tacomas here than any other state. I'm sure Ford sold more Rangers here than any other state as well. My point is that your logic is flawed and it's based on a stereotype....a double negative. :)

By the way, Crew Cabs with the 5.3 liter are the only trucks being produced right now. I talked to the fleet manager at Henna Chevrolet in Austin and he told me that they don't even have a build schedule for anything other than Crew Cabs right now. I think we'll start seeing the 4.3 liter motor in Crew Cabs before we see Extended and Single Cab trucks, and that will probably be the end of the summer. The 6.2 liter won't be available until sometime in the 4th Qtr.

Ok Chris, I'll accept your correction--for now.

As for the other models of GM as compared to Ford and Ram, while the extended cab isn't being assembled as yet, GM does have photos of their pre-production model and the rear-door handles are identical to Ford's and Ram's--they look like shortened Crew Cabs rather than extended Regular Cabs. That is absolutely NOT the look I want or am willing to buy. I'd rather pay $15K for an '05 Ranger X-cab than any price for a '14 X-cab of any American brand. (I'll admit I don't know what the Toyota or Nissan will look like, but I will acknowledge that this recent shoot-out really hurt my opinion of Nissan's handling.)

I'm a Native Houstonian and own a 98 Sonoma! Fun truck!

@ LOU,

Did you know in B.C RAM is the best selling truck !

And overall car sales Chrysler is number 1,edging out Ford ! In Canada..

I think/know the lack of 8 speed HEMI RAM's is because Chrysler doesnt have the capacity to build loads of 8 speeds...3 months ago dealers had a ton of 8speed HEMI,now a load of new arrivals are the 6 speed.

This is the reason Chrysler cant sell more vehicles,its hot sellers are at full capacity,the Grand Cherokee cant be made fast enough ect.in fact it was delayed because they didnt have any 8 speed tranny's for the 2014 model year.Thats why dealers usually dont have a large selection of 300's,Charger's,Challenger's because they plant cant make enough of them.

@Eva
That is exactly what Chevrolet needed. To go back to the styling of the most popular body style they had, the '88-'98s. The fact that they have the square look of the '73-'87s is just an added bonus.

@Chris

You are wrong about the lower trims getting body color mirrors and door handles on the Chevy. The WTs and LTs will be black plastic. However, on LT equipped Custom Sport Trucks they will indeed be body color.

As for the GMCs, the SLE trucks will have body color mirror caps and door handles. SLT will be all chrome like the LTZ Chevy.

As for the styling, how anyone could mistake a '14 Silverado with a '13 Silverado would very puzzling. I could see the Sierra getting mistaken by a casual non truck person, but anybody could tell the '13 from the '14 when seeing them together. The Silverado is styled very proper IMO. There is no mistaken it for another brand. Anyone that can remember the last 2 decades will know its a Chevy.

@Chris,

Ford,Dodge,Toyota a few years back had a Texas Edition trucks..

You are missing the point,in Texas they sell alot of trucks,thus the companies acknowledge this with a special Texas Edition...to kind of thank Texas for buying so many trucks,if its your best customer,you basically suck up to them,something we do in the business world everyday !

Even the old Ford's had a California Edition Mustangs,and Buick had some California editions on its Skylark ect..Heck Honda had a Dragon edition to suck up to the Asians here a few years back.

The only reason Texas is getting all the attention from GM is because they're cheap. GM is trying to save dollars on shipping them any farther from Mexico where they're manufactured.

@ Vulpine: I'm not so sure on your comment about all of the Big 3 switching to a rear-opening, crew-cab style extended cab. I'm pretty sure I heard that Ford was keeping their front-opening "suicide doors" on the SuperCab for the new 2015 model. Correct me if I'm wrong, though.
Personally, I'd like it more if Ford retained the front-opening SuperCab, since that's what I've gotten used to since our 3-door '98, as well as keeping some distinction from the other 3 manufacturers. (Nissan doesn't count; the Titan is badly in need of either an update or a mercy kill.)

Regarding the comments made about chrome: Chrome was historically the only way to prevent rust on cars besides painting, so until plastics were utilized extensively for weight-saving measures in the 80's, every vehicle was made to look as attractive as possible when covered in chrome. Think of, say, an '86 Chevy one-ton dually crew cab with everything trimmed in chrome possible. Fenders, bumpers, running boards, handles, around the two-tone "shoulder line," everything.
Now, translate that to today: Pickup truck buyers being who they are (unashamedly conservative, and there's nothing necessarily wrong with that in this context), they do still love themselves a whole lotta chrome. Even after Ford (and others) introduced monochrome/black FX4-style trims, chrome handles, grille surrounds, etc. have remained as popular as they always were. But Vulpine, I do agree with you about the King Ranch Super Duties looking better than Lariat or XLT because of the body-color surround making the grille more subdued. Why is this sort of thing not available on lower trim levels? I mean, at least Platinum (which, as I've stated before, is too fancy for anyone, IMO) has that sort of chain-link style pattern on the bars, but all the others are almost literally a solid wall of chrome on the front of the vehicle.

Make mine a GMC 7 liter aluminum small block, with 500 ftlbs & 24 mpg hwy!

Go ahead and delete the Onstar equipment and nix the 95mph speed limiter. Also include a variable height air suspension.

Please bring back dark blue interior..Ermine white on Dark blue int; just line my '63 vette, and include the retro 1956 appearance option.

@PUTC
Sorry for the off topic interruption.
@Mark Williams
Is PUTC going to the Tundra Media Event coming up and will you be allowed to test it as well.

@Vulpine--I disagree with your take on Texas. I spent 29 years of my life in Texas and you see plenty of midsize trucks along with full size trucks and cars and suvs of every make and size. I have no doubt that these premium truck packages will do well in Texas but Houston and Dallas are close to passing up Chicago to become the number 3 and 4 largest cities in the country and being so large they are much more diverse market than most would think.

@Canadian DODGE RAM Owner !! - no I didn't know Ram was BC's #1 selling truck. I had been trying to check out the 2013 Ram Hemi 8 speed combo so I've been keeping an eye on several dealer inventories. There haven't been many on the books and one dealer posts the ones that are on order as well as the ones on the lot. There haven't been many around.
Have you seen many in the Lower Main Land?
Didn't you say you had one with air ride?

Strange. Ok David, it appears you're right. I went to the build and price page earlier and they were showing the standard style door and a visit to my local Ford dealer showed me one with a standard style door (of course, he may have been trying to push off the basic Crew Cab instead, since most of his trucks were Super Crew.)

Ok... Much as I don't like Ford, maybe they've done something right.

That TT V6 is friggin awesome, you wouldn't know AWESOME if it kicked you in ass, Brett. TROLL!
Posted by: Frank | Jun 26, 2013 12:45:28 PM

Classic Frank The Troll is back at it again. Bashing people and their opinions. I believe he is mistaken on who is the real TROLL. Keep on trollin' Frankie. You make a bigger A## out of yourself each time you post.

@matt

I was only talking about Texas Edition packages which only come on the LT's and now LTZ's. The LS and WT models can't be optioned with a Texas Edition package. The non-Texas Edition LT trucks will have black handles and mirror caps, just like the LS and WT models. I'm not sure what a non-Texas Edition LTZ truck looks like since the only trucks GM is sending here right now are Texas Editions. I'd really like to see an option where the mirror caps, handles, and front/rear bumpers are body colored, similar to Ford's FX4 package. I had a white Chevy 1993 Sport model truck and absolutely loved the way it looked! I wish they'd bring back something like that! Anyway, I'm hoping GM will continue to update and refresh their trucks as often as Ford has been, I think it keeps things fresh and customers happy with the latest technology and features.

@ Chris

Gotcha.

A regular LTZ will have chrome mirror covers and door handles too.

Chevy does have a package to get the body color mirror covers and door handles however. It is the Custom Sport Truck option package on LT models. They're is a lot somewhat close to me that had one. It looked good in the pictures they had of it on their website.

I remember those trucks like you had. They were the Sport models. Those and especially the 454SS models looked very menacing in black. Until I seen this new body style in person the 88-98s were my favorites. I think Chevy has a nailed the styling.

@ Tyler
See the links.

My truck F250 6.4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUnLW7--Rhw&feature=youtu.be

2013 Eco with 3.73 gears
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUnLW7--Rhw&feature=youtu.be

Millersburg, OH. Hill called Buffalo hill.

Looks like the links above were just for my truck,

Try this link for the ecoboost

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4tzIOD3ydY

@David--I have noticed many of the new cars, trucks, crossovers, and suvs all seem to have a generous use of chrome on grills and on the trim on the trunk and rear ends. I guess this is just what is in style. I realize that the chrome is used on plastic but it is to give the appearance of the old chromed metal trim of the past. I don't mind the use of the chrome but too much of anything gets old after a while.

Chevy can advertise that their trucks are made just down the road in Mexico.

There are two schools of thought that seem to work best when it comes to appearance: Those who enjoy copious amounts of chrome, and those who enjoy monochrome accents and black plastic. Both are equally valid and attractive (different strokes for different folks and all that), but they get ugly when you try to mix them. Like, for example, an FX4 that has aftermarket chrome rims, handles and mirror caps. What are those people thinking?

scott... wow... that 6.4 was a joke... and the ecojunk popping and snapping... sounded good... My 07 3/4 Sierra 6.0L with 216K miles on it pulled a 17k trailer better than that... 3rd gear tops mind you... but those videos only proved that Ford cant tow a trailer.... were you shifting from 4-Low to 2high??? Im guessing the only way you could get 15K moving...

@Jason - My brother is on his 3rd GMC 3/4 ton crew cab 6.0 company fleet truck in 6 years. The first 2 tended to rev to the moon with a 10,000 lb trailer behind it in the mountain passes. It would shift up and start to bog. The process would repeat itself over and over again. Tow/haul seemed to make it worse. He gave up bringing it to the dealer to get fixed. They told him it was okay. His current 2012 is fine. He thinks that they must of tuned something differently. The drivetrains have held up but not the door seals, interior, bodies, plastic trim, and bumpers. I've driven in them and they are noisy and uncomfortable places to do business. (Base model trucks).
My friends have a 2011 6.0 3/4 ton LT crew cab. They have 3 teenagers and all of them prefer the comfort of my truck. I've been in my brother's trucks and have driven theirs and agree. It is noisier. More wind noise and engine noise.
BTW - my truck is an 2010 XLT SuperCrew 4x4 with 5.4.

The 2014 GMC siblings look like they've fixed all of the things I did not like with the GMT900's. They need to update the GMC HD's and will have a much nicer truck.
The 2014 Silverado would be the first truck I'd consider if I (God forbid) had to replace my current truck.

The Chevy 1500 crew cab Is the only one made in Mexico I think in stead of Canada. But two updated plants in the U.S.A.

I think the biggest crime about selling these trucks are how much the automakers are ripping the public off for the outrageous prices they are selling these machines for. As much as I love the pickups, and I am a big Chevy fan, there is no way I could afford to buy a new truck. For the average Joe like me, I would have to wait a few years to get a decent used one to even think about getting a pickup. So with all of these so called options like the "Texas Edition" in which you are just paying to have a badge plastered all over the truck and to show off to say "Hey, look at what I got!", is just plain crazy. You could get the same truck without all of the badges and glamour.

Whoever posted about the texas edition for the last 9 yrs having all the chrome trim and mirrors and handles should check there facts. The texas editons used to have everything color keyed. No Chrome! My 07 and 08 texas editions both have painted mirror caps and door handles. It wasnt til i got the 2010 that they went chrome. And the other post about
being from mexico is false also. My last 4 gm trucks including my 2013 is from the ft wayne Indiana plant. All Texas Edition trucks! Dont believe half what you read on these forums. Ignorant people are everywhere! !!



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