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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!

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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!

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