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Texas (USA): The kingdom of pick-up trucks!

2014 Chevrolet Silverado USA June 2013. Picture courtesy of caranddriver.comChevrolet is estimated to have allocated half of its initial national supply of 2014 trucks to Texas!

* See the Full article by clicking on the title! *

After CaliforniaNew York and Colorado, today we continue our exploration of specific US markets as we travel to Texas, which I just discovered is pick-up heaven! Last week Chevrolet launched its 2014 Silverado in Texas through a grassroots promotional campaign hitting baseball games, rodeos, the state fair, an exposition for oil-field hands, a home and garden show in El Paso and even a deep-sea fishing tournament in a tiny Gulf Coast island town! To coincide with this launch, Autonews published a long article quoting Polk sales figures and explaining how critical the Texas market is for pick-up truck manufacturers. And this was all news to me so I had to share the bulk of it with you today!

Ford Atlas concept USA June 2013Ford will launch the new F-Series in 2014 and paraded its Atlas concept around to remind Texas buyers of that last February. 

Home of 26 million inhabitants (8% of the total population of the United States), Texas accounts for 1 in 6 full-sized pickups sold nationally! That’s 258,729 units in 2012, and 97,686 through April this year. Texas outsold California, the #2 pickup market, by a rate of 3 to 1 in 2012! Even more impressive: the Houston metro area would rank #5 this year among pickup markets if it were a separate state. Dallas would be #7, as more pickups are sold just in the Dallas and Houston areas combined than in any other US state, including No. 2 California. BUT even excluding both cities, Texas would still be the Number 1 pick-up state in the country!

2014 Toyota Tundra USA June 2013Toyota will launch a redesigned Tundra in September 2013, the only full-sized pickup actually assembled in Texas. 

So who is winning in the kingdom of pick-up trucks?

Autonews says “General Motors believes its first redesigned pickups in 7 years and strong underlying truck demand will reverse its sharp losses in full-sized pickup market share in Texas. As recently as 2008, GM held a comfortable lead in Texas, according to Polk, with the Silverado, Avalanche and GMC Sierra combining for a 38.5% market share, compared with Ford’s 31.6%. But Ford surged ahead in 2009 – the year of GM’s government-led bankruptcy – and hasn’t looked back since.”

Texas pickup sales by brand. Picture courtesy of Autonews

So far in 2013, Ford has a 39.4% share vs. 34.2% for General Motors while Ram is up 18.4%, on track to deliver its highest share in Texas since 2008. That explains why General Motors is barnstorming every corner of Texas to reach customers who either defected to rival brands or have been nursing their aging Silverados or Sierras. Autonews says “General Motors is piping as much as half of its initial national supply of the 2014 pickups to Texas!

Full article below.

Maria Rohrer, Silverado marketing director, says: “We’ve got to win in Texas to be able to win this game in truck sales. It’s been seven years since we launched a new truck. We’re not going to come back slow. We’re coming back strong.”

Autonews quotes Polk analyst Tom Libby as saying the timing of GM’s rollout “could not be better,” with pent-up demand and a resurgent housing market stoking pickup sales. Through May, sales of full-sized pickups are up 21% this year, compared with 7% for the industry overall, and are on pace to hit 2 million units for the first time since 2007. “They have a real opportunity to take share,” Libby says. But, he adds: “They really need to take advantage now because it’s a small window.”

You can check out the original article on Autonews here.

This Post Has 14 Comments
  1. @jake
    Neither the Toyota or Nissan are imported. Their plants are located in Texas and Mississippi. They are assembled by Americans.

    The Tundra is assembled with 80% parts made in America. The Silverado only has 61% parts made in America. Ford is at 60% and Ram is the only American brand that comes close at 70%. You consider the Tundra and Titan as imported. Couldn’t the same be said about Ram since Fiat owns Ram?

    I do agree with you that the seats are uncomfortable on the Nissan, but I think that has to do with age of design and not where it was made.

  2. Honestly, when I look for a pick up as I’m currently doing now, I look for comfort built in with my needs. Imported pick ups like Toyota or Nissan aren’t as comfortable imo as American trucks like Ford or Chevy. The seats are too thin and small. In Texas, it takes nearly 4 hours to travel from Houston to san Antonio, or even to Dallas. I don’t want to be stuck in an imported truck with uncomfortable seats with little leg room. That is where American cars beat imports my opinion.

  3. Matt,
    I like and visit your site regularly for research and as an automotive enthusiast.
    If possible I would like to see included is the tire size spec for the vehicle, Like tire size ,Speed Rating and brand O.E.

    Thanks,
    James

  4. As a native Texian and long time hot rodder, I find this article and subsequent thread interesting. What is it that makes the light truck so attractive to my neighbors here in the Lone Star state? Personally, I have never owned one or even considered one except as a second or third vehicle. This is all I can come up with.

    1. the crew cab has created a useful hybrid between a passenger hauler and a ‘stuff’ hauler. Most people don’t really want to pay for two vehicles when one can do.

    2. in Texas, hills and mountains barely exist – they are mostly theoretical.

    3. in Texas, rust and corrosion while they do occasionally exist – they are mostly theoretical.

    4. in Texas, our major export (to the rest of the planet) is gasoline and diesel fuel.

    5. in Texas it is 250+ miles between major cities, and 30 to 75 miles between large towns.

    6. in Texas we have two major industries that are located in the countryside and use a lot of trucks, light and otherwise – agriculture/ranching and oil/gas production (a mining industry and sort of an ongoing construction project conducted, essentially, in the middle of nowhere).

    Imho, the light vehicle market in these parts is essentially rural and rural oriented. With roughly equivalent products, Ford and Chevy have an advantage because of their extensive rural dealer network. Toyota (with a lesser service network) competes by offering a somewhat more durable product. Chrysler competes by its wits – RAM TRUCK – Peterbuilt??? What could that possibly mean? Nissan sells to country girls who may, or may not, have yet moved to the city.

  5. @Sonico
    I agree, I have been to the US many times and have visited about twelve states, each one is more like a different country, Massachusetts for example is quite different from California, I work for a Texan company and many Texans come over on business visits to the UK office and I have met many and I don’t remember any religious freaks, they are people like the rest of us, people buy the vehicle which suits their needs, the UK pick up market is limited, simply because we are a small country (countries). I personally find the pick up trucks too big and ugly and they wouldn’t fit on British roads. Thanks Matt for the intersting article.

  6. I really can’t get what “religious freaks” have to do with Texas being a big market for American pick ups, and pick ups in general.

    And I don’t get what’s the sense of comparing Texas and “the rest of the USA”. Each state has their own particularities.

  7. @matgasnier

    C’mon Matt, do you really think the needs of someone living in suburban Texas are any different to someone living in suburban (insert any other US city here). How many pickup trucks do you think you’d find parked in driveways in suburban Long Island, NY? Not many at all. Texas is full of religious freaks as well, not a place I would want to live.

    1. David,
      I’m talking about countryside Texas, not suburban Texas and yes actually, their needs are vastly different to people living in Long Island, NY. I’m not sure Long Islanders have any kind of agricultural loads to carry every day on their vehicle.
      And once again, not sure what Texan people would think about your generalisation to ‘religious freaks’, let alone how this has anything to do with the fact they are buying pick-up trucks more than any other state in the US.
      You can do better than that as far as comments are concerned David I know it 😉

    1. Hi David,
      The Los Angeles / New York City markets have completely different needs than countryside Texas and cannot really be compared in terms of whether people are ‘slow’ or ‘backwater’ based on their tastes in cars or pick-up trucks. Not sure what Texan people would think of your comment by the way.
      Pick-up trucks is what American carmakers do best and probably the one segment where they still perform extremely well in terms of sales. Given the structure of the Texan economy I am not surprised to see them dominate a market like Texas.
      Plus, if you look at New York City sales in the article I wrote a few weeks ago, you will see that made-in-America Hondas dominate, so New Yorkers still don’t prefer imported models over American-made cars.
      Cheers,
      Matt

  8. Texans must be slow. Most of the rest of the USA has already figured out that imported cars are superior to American ones.

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