Final Thoughts From the Fairgrounds


I know what you’re thinking. What about the folks at GM? Where is their latest and greatest? Where are their new models? Where is their response to the new products that Ford, Ram and even Toyota chose to release at the 2011 State Fair of Texas?

The short answer is there wasn’t any. Instead, GM opted to emphasize its recent small-car successes — the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt and Sonic — and a new, yet familiar, Texas Edition Silverado HD.

It would have been nice to see all the truck-makers reveal some big news at the fair, but we understand that can’t happen every year. If truck people are anything, they’re willing to wait for what they want — up to a point. From what we hear, GM engineers are as ready as anyone to get their new product moving. For now, we’ll just have to wait. But we won’t wait forever. (Are you listening GM?)

The show had a few surprises and some pretty good attempts at offering the truck-faithful something useful and interesting. On the flip side, some might have called this the Year of the Sticker, with Ford’s FX2, FX4 and Raptor showing off new decals, as well as the new Tacoma Baja Series and Frontier Sport Package.

Still, there was plenty of meat to see and run our hands over, most of which you’ve seen over the past two days. Here are a few final thoughts and observations about the 2011 State Fair of Texas.



Not to belabor the point, but we were just as frustrated as you likely were with how little GM truck news there was. Still, this was the first time in a long line of Texas Edition trucks that the HD lineup got the nod, and it looked pretty good.

On the 2500 HD model at the show, the package includes 20-inch wheels, trailering package, locking rear differential, electric camper mirrors, EZ Lift tailgate and 6-inch-drop access door steps. The 3500 HD Texas Editions gets 18-inch wheels on single-rear-wheel models and 17-inch wheels on dual-rear-wheel rigs.

All Texas Edition models are offered with the Duramax. No light-duty Silverado or Sierra news was offered, but we did hear grumblings about possible news at the Detroit auto show in January. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.



The Ram display started with a bang, showing off three new models. Our favorite was the Tradesman HD. It’s a little odd how it can be called a 1500 when all the parts and pieces underneath and under the hood are 2500.

The Tradesman HD will have an 8,500-pound gross vehicle weight rating and a 17,500-pound gross combined weight rating. And yes, the 5.7-liter Hemi does have the bigger, stronger and real six-speed transmission behind it. As for the longer RamBox rollout, Ram is likely to learn it should have come out with the bigger size for the Power Wagon from the very beginning.



There was nothing major to report that you hadn’t already heard, but I did like the small changes made to the 2012 Raptor. It’s nice to have a washer-sprayer for the front camera, but why not make some kind of cleaning mechanism available for the headlights as well? Also, if I’m going to order a Raptor with front and rear cameras, you better give me the ability to switch between them. The front camera works only when the transmission is in Drive, and rear camera works only in Reverse? Bologna. If you’ve given them to me and I’ve paid for them, let me use them when I want to. No doubt some company will create a small fix for that oversight.

I had quite a bit to talk about with the Raptor engineers, and they seemed to have all the right answers. We were told there were absolutely no changes necessary to the suspension, undercarriage or frame.

Finally, the news about a few transfer case changes seems to come down to simplifying the configurations. It sounds like the manual lever 4x4 option that was standard on the entry-level V-6 models is now gone, in addition to the highest trim level Harley and Limited all-wheel-drive transfer cases. Now there are only two four-wheel-drive systems: the previous-generation electronic shift-on-the-fly model and the new automatic four-wheel drive, the latter of which offers a full-time setting (and Neutral) as well as the obvious four-high and four-low settings. Lariat trims and higher will get the new transfer case.



It was a little disappointing in some respects to see how small the baby steps were for their Baja Series debut. It seems like Toyota could have done more to make it more impressive, but to call Toyota’s recent product strategy “cautious” is quite an understatement. Still, we got to play with the Entune multimedia system on the new Tacoma, and it seems very cool. We’ll have more to say about that later, when Entune makes it into more Toyota vehicles. We like the idea of a cheaper Sync-like system that may not have some of the OnStar privacy issues that have been in the news.



Not much going on at Nissan right now, but they did get a chance to talk about the new Sport Appearance Package. Pricing for the Frontier Package is $1,190, with the Titan’s pricing listed at $2,490.

Star of the Show

The star of the show, oddly enough, wasn’t one of the display trucks, but actually one of the presenters.

Ralph Gilles, CEO of the SRT program for Chrysler, did a lot of enthusiast-to-enthusiast talking about strategy and engineering when taking one of Chrysler’s vehicles and infusing it with power, performance and the appropriate hi-po intelligence. Probably the best example on hand was the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8, but we did get Gilles to make a few comments about a possible Ram project.

“We’re always experimenting,” Gilles said, “but there’s nothing to prevent SRT from taking a serious look at a Ram.” Gilles is the same guy who is responsible for the current design of the Ram 1500 and Ram HD lineup. In fact, he’s head of all Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram design now. When asked why SRT doesn’t pull the Ram Runner in-house, he just smiled and wouldn’t answer. Could something be around the corner? 



It's been hard to get excited about pickups these last few years. Manufacturers are too slow to give consumers what they want.

chevy texas truck is just a cry out for texas to give them award ;ike they do for ford and ram everyyear they earned it chevy hasnt

GM truck buyers are so loyal that it hardly matters how dated and stagnant Silverados/Sierras get. Throw in a gang of rebates... WINNER!!!

Looking over the coverage of the 2010, 2009, and 2008 State Fair of Texas there was no news from GM at those shows either. You can't just turn it on once every 6 years. You need to constantly update or you get left behind.

It looks like Ram, or maybe Ford, will take home the -Official Truck of Texas for 2011 award.

Last time GM won Truck of Texas was 10 years ago. I don't think they got it done this year either.

so are gonna see an 80s revival w/ all trucks having body decals lol

An '80s revival? That would be rad!!!

Posted by: DenverMike | Oct 1, 2011 9:39:33 AM
Looking over the coverage of the 2010, 2009, and 2008 State Fair of Texas there was no news from GM at those shows either. You can't just turn it on once every 6 years. You need to constantly update or you get left behind.

Hmmm...well that is exactly what Ford has done with the Super Duty line since '99. Throw a uglier grille on it every couple of years and a new dash, then call it all new. The Super Duty trucks are so long in tooth that it isn't funny. GM has introduced 2 completely new body and frame styles on the HD trucks since Ford itroduced their last all-new SD truck. It's funny that no one mentions that.

GM has introduced "new" bodies but they still look like the 2000 so nobody really cares.

@ bobs neighbor

The super duty has been upgraded continually in the power train (granted out of necessity). GM is still using the same engines from 10-15 years ago in most of its trucks (5.3l, 6.0l) and longer with the 4.3 l v6. The D-Max has been updated.

The Super Duty also gets a lot of small updates that the other companies do not, the factory installed 5th wheel hitch and goose-neck hitches being two of the most obvious.

Oh and the Super Duty still dominates the HD sales category, so no one seems to care the sheet metal hasnt changed much

I never noticed when I first read but the idea behind the Ram Tradesman HD was to put 2500 parts in a 1500 truck I wonder who thought of that first they must have changed it all.

My vote is for the Texas Edition Chevy Silverado. That is my dream truck!

GM is really raising the bar. Obviously it is a tough and I think that is what people are looking for. But you can get tough with good lookin and comfortable which is what I think is a total package. That's what this truck is and I think Chevy has done a great job.

Why wasn't there any GMC truck news?
They see trucks as a liability and would rather focus on fuel efficient cars.
CEO Dan Akerson has also voiced his concern about the future of full-sized trucks and questioned its viability in a time when fuel prices continue to fluctuate. His statements mirror the current downward sales trend of Chevy Silverados and GMC Sierras, while the company's small cars such as the Chevy Cruze are flying off the dealer lots."

Finally a recap of what Mark Williams said - quote
"I know what you’re thinking. What about the folks at GM? Where is their latest and greatest? Where are their new models? Where is their response to the new products that Ford, Ram and even Toyota chose to release at the 2011 State Fair of Texas?

The short answer is there wasn’t any. Instead, GM opted to emphasize its recent small-car successes — the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt and Sonic — and a new, yet familiar, Texas Edition Silverado HD"

Looks like GMC wants you behind the wheel of a "Prius like" vehicle instead of a truck.
Their political masters have spoken.(60 billion worth)
Let it be written. Let it be done.

There is no GMC truck news because they are keeping their cards to close to their chest.

Ford sells the most trucks but does that mean they are best or just sell the most? McDonalds sells the most burgers but do they sell the best or just the most? I would definitely say it is just the most. Ford sells the most trucks but definitely not the best.

GM sells the most half ton trucks so they are obviously doing something right. GM does not need updates or news if they are selling the most. GM already sells the most and has the best half ton pickup.

Why have big news when the new GM trucks are coming out early 2012? Ford rushed to market a lot of new stuff and we saw how many problems Ford had with Ecoboost and Raptor. If Ford had waited to do all of the updates like GM waited, Ford would have been better off. Because GM waited GM had time to do it the right way unlike Ford aka McDonalds which just sells the most.

The 2013 all new Chevy Silverado will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2012. There is no reason to update the current truck or give people news at the state fair on the current truck when the new truck is coming a few months from now. The new GM truck is coming and will once again be the stanard of the industy. Why update or make news on the old truck when the new truck is so close to a debut? That would make no sense whatsoever.

@Lou - What I am trying to say is GM does not sell the most trucks but GM does the most half ton trucks. Chevy + GM. So despite the lack of updates, GM must be doing something right. Ford has the most updates, but they sold less half tons becaues they are clearly not the best. Can you say McDonalds?

The news on GM trucks is coming. Hold onto your shorts.

Powertrain changes will use of direct injection across the Silverado's engine lineup, including, (maybe 7.0-liter?) new large-displacement V-8 gas engine. GM's next-generation full-size hybrid technology will also have better electric motors and batteries, giving the gas-electric trucks to 50% better towing.

Like their 2011 heavy-duty, the next-gen Silverado and Sierra half ton pickups will ride on all-new frames. Expect the HD pickups to receive new sheetmetal that's similar to the light-duty pickups.

Let it be written.


So why Ford sells more trucks? - Because they are BETTER!
Why Ford is #1 Pickup Truck? - Because its BETTER!
Its built BETTER! built like a REAL TRUCK!
BEST towing,BEST payload,BEST all around truck!

@bobby- Odd... 1/2 ton Towing=Ford
last place in the recent 30k and under= Chevy

What exactly leads you to believe GM makes the best half ton? As it surely isnt empirical evidence.

GM still sells the most. GM + sells the most half tons eventhough they have the oldest plafrom. Why? Because GM half tons are the best!!!!! Buy what you want but stop with the GM bashing. If GM is bad, then why are they selling so many light duty trucks???????? You want the truth? You can't handle the truth.

GM + Chevy sells the most half tons.

Want to know why GM is not doing much with the U.S. market or pickups?

GM and GE Go All-In for Chinese Subsidies

Too busy shipping jobs and money overseas to China!!!

I still dont get how they can get away with putting a 1500 badge on a 2500.
Whats even more messed up is that the price for the 1500HD is gonna start around $30,000 according to PUTC, but right now the price of a 2500 starts just under $28,000! What the heck???

@oxi doesn't that piss you off? After we bailed their asses out?

@Bobby, so your point is that GM half tons are like mcdonalds hamburgers?

Regardless, if I were GM and had something exciting in the pipe, I'd let SOMETHING leak in an effort to get people to wait for it.

@Unclebud - There has been plenty of 2012 and 2013 Chevy news, but you have to stop being negative and open your eyes. The news is out there if you would just look. Everyone is anticipating and trying to find any leaked details about the next gens obviously. But until the big debut, I will still be happy with 2011 Motor Trend Truck Of The Year, Chevy Silverado, it is the man’s man truck, hands down. Let it be written.

Is it just me or are the ram trucks starting to look dated?


Same goes for the fords too.

@Bob from Detroit,

GM is so in love with China, they plan to move there!!!

I agree with Osama Bin Laden.

@oxi - China/Japan (aka Toyota) same difference. Japan is ripping us off, too.

@ Uncle Bud - You said "Regardless, if I were GM and had something exciting in the pipe, I'd let SOMETHING leak in an effort to get people to wait for it."

Errr, no that's not how it works. GM does not want people to wait. They want people to buy what is out NOW. Duh. There has already been enough leaks.

BTW, I’m always amazed that people think GM should lay their cards on the table, spell out exactly what they intend to do to their 2013 trucks. Would you expect a general going to war to tell the enemy what his plan of attack would be? Err, no. Nor would any other manufacturer be asked to do this.

At this point in time, GM has no reason to leak anymore. It's time to sell the remaining 2011's. There will be a short run of 2012's before the 2013 is unveilved.

Bob has a point, GM is overstocked on trucks, if they give a sneak peak of the next generation then it would be impossible to sell what they got now.

1. The CEO of GMC thinks trucks are a liability.
2. They are putting an emphasis on small green cars.

Both PUTC and TruckTrend have said that the emphasis is on "green" cars not trucks.

3. GMC is sucking up big time to the Chinese.
They have billions to spend on new vehicles, and they (The Chinese) ain't spending money on pickup trucks.

4. The USA government owns GMC.

a. The USA government is openly a "GREEN" government.
They fired the old CEO of GMC.

b. MPG and emmision laws present and future are against full sized pickups.

Why is is such a surprise that there isn't any positive GMC truck news?

There isn't any.

GM dragging their ass on new trucks is a bad idea.
Ford and Ram fans, and those thinking of changing over have a damned good idea what is coming.
They also like what they see now.
Only a blind loyalist would reallly like what they see in the GM 1/2 ton ranks.

1. The CEO of GMC thinks trucks are a liability.

Lou, You base that on nothing but spite and pettiness. GM's CEO never said trucks were a liability. That is a lie from Lou.

What GM's CEO questioned was how they would do with fluctuating gas prices. Ford has said the same. Both Ford and GM are questioning this.

GM is putting $328 million into its plant for the next gen Silverado and Sierra. They wouldn't be doing so if it iwas a liability.

"Truck sales play an important role in the success of General Motors," said Joe Ashton, UAW-GM Vice President. "We are confident that the next-generation of trucks will continue to be an important source of revenue for the company and jobs for our members."

GM's future in trucks is not in question. You however are very small and petty.

Tom - It wouldn't be impossible but it wouldn't help. 99% of people have no idea there are new trucks coming. Rule #1 is not talk future product. Ford also follows this rule.

The Detroit Auto Show is in January. If what Mark Williams says is correct that is when you will see more info on the new trucks.

Bob, my opinion is that what you say only works for a while. I'm tired of waiting and I'm sure others are too. Besides, the Fords and Rams are awesome. The current Silverado half ton is becoming obsolete.

Sometimes you gotta go with the girl that is answering your phone calls.

@Bob - I'm not lying. Re-read the stories I provided.

Re-read my first post:

Is it a coincidence that GM's CEO see's trucks as a risk ?,
Is it a coincidence that GMC is owned by a government with a Pro - Green agenda ?,
Is it a coincidence that PUTC says that at the fair in the biggest truck market in North America Quote" Instead, GM opted to emphasize its recent small-car successes — the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt and Sonic".

Just in case you missed it - The State Fair of Texas" is huge.
Texas is the BIGGEST TRUCK MARKET in North America.
What did GMC do?
Push Green cars.

Take the fanboi blinders off and smell what "like a rock" is cookin' or more specificallly not cookin".

The silence is deafening!

If I were a GMC diehard - I'd be crying in my beer right now!

I read the article he never said it was a liability or a risk. He questioned the viability of big full-size trucks with gas prices fluctuating. Ford has done same. Stop being petty. I know you like Ford. Good for you. Buy and enjoy what you like. Would you hold it against me if I bought a Ford?

I will buy the best truck in 2014. I don't care if it is GM or Ford. I know it will NOT be Dodge. It will come down to GM and Ford for best truck in 2013/14. It will probably be Ford because GM will come out first and then Ford can came out second knowing what GM has and beat them. Which futhur explains why GM should not be leaking any info too soon.

In case you haven't noticed, GM does not have a large participation at the Fair unless they have a new model. They will do their unveiling at the Auto Show in Detroit in 2 months which will get a lot more publicity than the fair. Hold your horses.

Thank you.

I like Chevy trucks but there is a difference between what is said on the internet and what happens in real life. When it comes time to spend my own hard earned money I am not stupid.

Listen to me now and hear me later.

I will buy a Ford F-150 if Ford gets better gas mileage than a Chevy Sivlerado in 2013.

Let it be written!

I will buy a Ford if Ford gets better mileage. Will Ford deliver???? Or will it be GM?

@Bob - "Would you hold it against me if I bought a Ford?"


Stop with the absolute ridiculous McDonalds comparison with Ford. A person puts way more time, research, and money into a $30,000 (give or take) vehicle purchase that they will live with every single day for years than they do on one quick $5 meal on the run.

Question for everyone. I ask this to everyone because I doubt the person in question would answer me straight. Are Bob, Michigan Bob, and GM Bob all the same guy? Because the last comment by "Bob" was a VERY un-Bob like comment.

It sucks to be a GM Fanboi!


@Benchimus - yes they are one and the same, and regarldless of what alias "he" posts under - "he" is full of crap.

My dislike of GMC stems from:
1. Bailout
2. Bob

I can learn to live with the bailout!

@Lou- That is what I figured. I was just thrown off by his last comment. Bob? Saying he would buy a Ford? I need to call grandpa and ask how the weather is down there, as I am thinking hell just froze over.

@ Bob. You are an idiot every day of the week. Why don't you do us all a favor and take a day off. How can you say that Ford isn't the best (even though they sell the most trucks) and GM is because they sell the most half tons. With that kind of logic it must be very difficult getting your pants on properly in the morning.

I don't think I could ever bring myself to own a GM product unless it was a Corvette. I had the pleasure of working on them for nearly a year and what I saw was not pretty. For the record, I am Chrysler Co guy. Always have and probably always will. Before I started pulling wrenches I thought I new it all. Dodges made the best cars period. Boy was I in for a suprise. Started at Ford and learned that they are a major pain to work on and they break down a lot. Went to GM. Found out that they are easier to work on than Fords but they break down even more. Then I went to Dodge. I don't think they are as good a car as I did 10-15 years ago. They break plenty as well. BUT, usually easier to work on. And they have been more reliable to me than the last GM and Ford products I had owned. But the reality check I got from GM was huge. This was the biggest car company in the business at the time. And yet the amount of corners cut was just pathetic. They wern't even trying. You ever replaced a tail light bulb on a Cavalier? They studs that pass through the sheet metal arn't held on with nuts. They take a flat disc of steel and punch it into a nut like shape and drill a hole in the middle and ram it on the stud. I couldn't even tell you what size it was. Somewhere in nomans land between 10-11mm and 7/16 of an inch. I had a shop full of sockets to choose from and none would fit. Even with extreme cost cutting they still lost money on every friggen car they sold. Why could they never get intake gaskets to keep from leaking on every single last 2.8L-3.5L? Ball joints, rear rotors, instrument clusters, fuel pumps, oil and tranny cooler lines, intake gaskets, piston slap, oil consumption, etc,etc,etc. The reality is that GM is making better vehicles than they used to but every single one of those older vehicles is a rolling middle finger pointed at the person driving it. I think there is still hope for GM. Cars like the Volt and Corvette prove it. But it'll take more than a world beating sports car and a high tech car like the Volt to erase those memories. Good thing GM has plenty of Bob's on its side. Rant over.


@Jordan L,

So you're saying you like GM?

Bob you are the most illogical person I've ever come across on the internet...I can only assume you are this way in person as well.

But claiming you will by a Ford because it would be the logical choice is just you using one of you're ''slightly'' more logical alias's.

Of course the F-150 makes more power and gets better gas mileage.

Of Course its priced competitivly with the Silverado...But I know just as well as everyone here that when it comes time for you to put your money where your mouth is, you will faulter and buy a GM anyway. But lucky for you, you have the luxury of claiming this over the internet, meaning that no one here will ever know for sure what you drive and or own.


Something pretty common throughout ram trucks, "DIARRHEA!"

@bob, "Listen to me now and hear me later." WTF?

I was also hoping there would be some news on putting the new F-150 engines in the Expedition. Anybody have any insight?


That is not Bob. That is someone else trolling Lou. Fact is there are no "Bobs." All of the Bobs are fake. Even the original Bob is trolling. They post stuff they know is wrong so they can get reactions. Facts and arguments with them are a waste of time. Frankly, if you are smart you will just ignore them because they are not worth the time of yours that they will waste.

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