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After California, New 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!
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!
So who is winning in the kingdom of pick-up trucks?
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.”