Yesterday we told you that the new Ford F-150 was selected by the Texas Auto Writers Association as the Truck of Texas. However, it turned out there were two seemingly contradictory press releases on the Ford and Chrysler web sites both laying claim to the title. As always, the devil is in the details. Apparently, they do things different in Texas. At the annual TAWA Truck Rodeo they pick winners in a dozen different categories for pickups, SUVs and CUVs. They do something similar in dog shows where they select the best of each breed. However, in dog shows they bring out the best of each breed and select a best in show.

You might think that TAWA would look at their category winners and select a best of overall vehicle to be deemed the "Truck of Texas." Not quite. We consulted universally acknowledged pickup truck expert Mike Levine for a little information about what goes on in Texas. Apparently, being selected the best in category is not a prerequisite for being the best overall truck in Texas. Mike likened it to being selected as best album at the Grammy's versus the best rock album. It seems like if the F-150 is the best overall truck, but in fact, the Ram was selected as the best pickup. So there. The dueling press releases are after the jump.

[Sources: Ford, Chrysler,]

Ford's press release


DALLAS, Oct. 19, 2008 – The new 2009 F-150 has been recognized as the one and only "Truck of Texas" by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) – the sixth consecutive year a Ford truck has won top honors.

Ford's lineup of trucks also was named Truck Line of Texas, while the Ford Flex and Expedition King Ranch received top honors as CUV and SUV of Texas, respectively. Sweeping all four vehicle-centered top honors, Ford emerged the clear winner at this year's TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo.

"This is high praise, especially the coveted 'Truck of Texas' top prize," said Mark Fields, Ford's President of the Americas. "Texas Auto Writers are the toughest truck critics because they know firsthand and truly appreciate how core truck customers really use their pickups.

"We're honored that TAWA recognizes that the new F-150 offers consumers class-leading capability, unsurpassed fuel economy and durability that shows how closely we've been listening to our customers for the 31 years Ford trucks have been America's favorite," he added.

According to Harold Gunn, President of TAWA, this year's competition was tighter than ever because all of the manufacturers are delivering outstanding trucks.

"'Truck of Texas' is really the most important award of its type in the industry," said Gunn. "We love trucks down here, and we really use these vehicles everyday. And since we spend so much time in our vehicles, for us it's not just about how the horse feels being towed, but how your butt feels sitting in the truck, too."

On sale now, the new F-150 offers fuel economy that has improved an average of 8 percent across the entire lineup as a result of a wide-range of engineering enhancements. The fuel economy gains reach as high as 12 percent versus the prior model year on F-150 models equipped with the high-volume three-valve, 5.4-liter V-8 engine. At the same time, the new F-150 delivers class-leading towing capability of 11,300 pounds and hauling capacity of 3,030 pounds – a combination no other competitor can match.

"Earning the trust of so many truck customers during the past 31 years has taught us a lot about what they want and value from their F-150," said Matt O'Leary, Ford F-150 chief engineer. "In the past, there was a tradeoff – more fuel economy meant less capability and vice versa. With the new F-150, we didn't accept tradeoffs. We delivered capability and fuel economy, and that's why the F-150 is the definitive full-size pickup on the market."

Other Ford Motor Company vehicles winning top honors in their categories at the TAWA Rodeo include:

Chrysler's press release

All-new 2009 Dodge Ram Named "Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas"

• Beats New Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan in the Full-Size Pickup Category
• All-new 2009 Dodge Ram recognized by Texas journalists for utility, value and efficiency

Grapevine, Texas, Oct 20, 2008 -

Voting after their annual Truck Rodeo, members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) named the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 "Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas," giving Dodge honors over competitors from Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Nissan, Honda and Toyota.

"This is quite an honor," said Mike Accavitti, Director, Dodge Marketing. "In a head-to-head competition, our game-changing all-new 2009 Dodge Ram un-seated the new Ford F-150, long considered the leader in the market. This is not only the best pickup truck we've ever built, it's the best pickup on the market, period."

TAWA's competition names three overall winners, including Truck of Texas, SUV of Texas and Crossover of Texas (a new category this year), along with 12 additional categories. Judging by the 40-plus TAWA members occurs over two full days of on- and off-road evaluation. Consideration is given to everything from exterior styling and off-road capability to the entrant's overall utility, value and fuel efficiency.

"The TAWA Truck Rodeo is the most comprehensive evaluation of new trucks and SUVs in the country and manufacturers consider it a great honor to win their category," said Harold Gunn, President of TAWA. "This was an especially tight competition because several manufacturers are building great product. We're proud that the Texas truck rodeo is considered the most important competition of its type in the nation."

The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram includes more than 35 new or improved features when compared to the previous light-duty Dodge Ram. These features include:

* Dodge Ram's first-ever crew-cab size model
* First-in-segment coil-spring, five-link rear suspension fitted to a solid rear axle provides the required towing and payload capability, with ride and handling unexpected in a pickup truck
* New 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 provides more horsepower (390 hp) and torque (407 lb.-ft.), with increased fuel economy (20 mpg on the 4x2 model)
* Best-in-class aerodynamics – .387 Cd – helps improve fuel economy and performance
* First-in-segment, RamBox™ cargo management system that includes versatile, weatherproof, lockable, illuminated, drainable storage bins; pickup bed dividers; 2-foot bed extender; and cargo rail system with sliding, adjustable cleats
* First-in-segment, factory-installed 4-inch dual exhaust styled dramatically into the rear bumper
* First-in-segment store-in-the-floor bins
* Nearly twice as many storage bins (42) than the previous model (26)
* 35 safety and security technologies, including standard front and rear side-curtain air bags, four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
* Significantly upgraded interiors with segment-first surround-sound audio system and live SIRIUS Backseat TV™

Share This Photo X