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  • Thursday, November 05, 2020 4:10 PM | Amy Plemons (Administrator)

    Houston, TX – Nov. 5, 2020 –  The 2021 Ram 1500 is the new reigning Truck of Texas. The Ram 1500 was crowned the 2021 Truck of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers Association in a live virtual ceremony on November 5, 2020 in conjunction with the Houston Auto Show. The Texas Truck Rodeo digital awards presentation follows the 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo held in October. 

    "The SUV and truck market in Texas is strong, and narrow margins between the vehicles confirmed just how competitive this market is this year," said TAWA President Kristin Shaw. “TAWA was the first journalist group to drive Ram's new 1500 TRX and its impressive 702-hp 6.2L HEMI along with undeniable capability on and off road convinced our journalists to rank the Ram 1500 number one in the Truck of Texas category."   

    Twenty-seven TAWA members traveled to Star Hill Ranch outside Austin on October 5-6, 2020, to evaluate 39 trucks and SUVs on a new off-roading course designed for this year's event. Drivers also had the opportunity to drive the vehicles on-road as well. Vehicles are measured on their interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal.  

    The 2021 Dodge Durango took home the SUV of Texas crown. Other awardees include the 2020 Land Rover Defender 110SE as Luxury SUV of Texas and the 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition as Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road took home the CUV of Texas title for a second consecutive year.

    "This year, we hosted 13 different brands at the Texas Truck Rodeo and welcomed Land Rover and Rolls-Royce back to the event. Both the Defender and the Cullinan were popular at the event and the former took home the Luxury SUV of Texas trophy," said Shaw. "Toyota's 2021 RAV4 TRD Off-Road retained its title of Compact SUV of Texas, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon maintained its edge as top Off-Road SUV, and Hyundai's elegant Palisade Calligraphy earned top honors as Mid-Size SUV of Texas." 

    TAWA made program changes this year to address the pandemic. Safety protocols included requiring face masks, sanitizing vehicles between drives and creating a two-wave event to limit the number of journalists present at one time. 

    This year has brought a lot of challenges to the automotive industry, and we are grateful for the partnership of our journalist and OEM members to provide an opportunity to have access to vehicles, network, and create content that is vital to our livelihoods and shared passion," said Shaw. "Over the course of two days, journalists had an opportunity to drive more than three dozen vehicles and evaluate them thoroughly." 

    TAWA thanks our participating members, automakers and press fleets for their support.  TAWA also wishes to thank all of our amazing sponsors for helping to make this year's event possible. Thank you to the Houston Auto Show, Katzkin, Prestige Auto, JBL by Harman and the Austin Auto Show.    

    Texas Truck Rodeo Winners

    • Truck of Texas:  2021 Ram 1500  
    • SUV of Texas: 2021 Dodge Durango 
    • Luxury SUV: Land Rover Defender 110SE
    • Full-Size SUV 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
    • Mid-Size SUV: 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy 
    • Compact SUV: 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road 
    • Off-Road SUV2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    • Full-Size Pickup: 2021 Ram 1500 TRX 
    • Mid-Size Pickup: 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave
    • Off-Road Pickup: 2021 Ram 1500 TRX
    • Luxury Pickup: 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition
    • Heavy Duty Pickup2020 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Laramie Night Edition

    Additional Awards

    • Best Powertrain: FCA 6.2-liter Supercharged HEMI V8 
    • Best Infotainment: FCA UConnect
    • Best Safety or Driver Assist: Nissan ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link 
    • Best Towing Technology: Ram Heavy Duty 360-degree Surround View Camera 

    Texas Truck Rodeo Images

    All event photography provided by Kevin McCauley. Additional event images can be found here. All images are for editorial use only and should be credited to Kevin McCauley/ Capturing the Machine. For commercial use, please contact Kevin McCauley / capturingthemachine.com.

    About the Off-Road Course

    The 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo took place at Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas, for the second consecutive year. Sue Mead, an accomplished off-roading journalist and member of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, was the 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo course director, overseeing the construction and design executed by Offcamber Design.

    About TAWA

    The Texas Auto Writers Association was founded in 1987 by automotive journalists who wanted to provide an avenue for professional growth, development, and networking. These professionals sought to create an automotive event that was unique to Texas, and the result was the TAWA Truck Rodeo. Since 1993, Truck Rodeos have been held in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury and Spring Branch, as well as Dripping Springs and for the past two years at the Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas.

    In 2003, TAWA created an event for sedans, sports cars, and other vehicles not eligible for the Truck Rodeo. The Texas Auto Roundup, as the event is called today, was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic with plans to return in the spring of 2021.  For more information, visit www.texasautowriters.org.

    Media Contact: Amy Plemons, amplemons.tvproducer@gmail.com



  • Sunday, October 25, 2020 2:23 PM | Amy Plemons (Administrator)

    Texas Auto Writers Association Announces Excellence in Craft Competition Winners for 2020

    DALLAS (October 25, 2020) — Automotive journalists Kathy Locke, Mercedes Lilienthal, and The Fast Lane Truck team were among the top winners in the Texas Auto Writers Association’s 2020 journalism competition.

    The award winners, who were announced Thursday, October 22, 2020 via livestream, included writers, photographers, designers and online content creators from across the United States who entered TAWA’s two contests: the Excellence in Craft Competition, which is only open to TAWA members, and the Texas Truck Invitational, which is open to any journalist who covers the truck industry.  

    “This year’s TAWA Excellence in Craft Competition saw a record number of entries across the board,” said Aaron Starnes, TAWA board member and chair of the award programs. “Mercedes Lilienthal earned first place in the highly competitive writing segment for both the magazine and newspaper categories. Kathy Locke was a first-time winner of the Texas Truck Invitational Writing competition with her story about the Rebelle Rally. And ‘The Fast Lane Car’ and ‘The Fast Lane Truck’ entries took first and third in the video category.” 

    Starnes said the panel of judges for the TAWA Excellence in Craft Competition are at the top of their fields, including John Pearley Huffman, Harvey Briggs, Steven Cole Smith, Stan Hulen, Chris Waits, Ivan Galvan, and Jaime Florez.

    TEXAS TRUCK INVITATIONAL


    NEWSPAPER WRITING

    1st: Teia Collier, Dallas Single Mom, “First Drive: 2019 Ford Ranger Supercrew XL 4x4

    2nd: Jason Fogelson, Forbes.com, “2019 Lexus GX460 Luxury Test Drive and Review: Dream On

    3rd: Derek Price, Cargazing, “Italian Practicality Cranked Up


    MAGAZINE WRITING

    1st: Kathy Locke, Toyota Cruisers and Trucks magazine, “My Journey to Rebelle

    2nd: (tie) Sue Mead, Outdoorx4, “Baja Boot-Maker Glickenhaus Now Races to Save Lives

    2nd:(tie) Jonathan Hanson, Outdoorx4, “Super Duty Ford: Dilemma or Solution?


    TAWA EXCELLENCE IN CRAFT COMPETITION


    MAGAZINE WRITING

    1st: Mercedes Lilienthal, Tread Magazine

    2nd: Sue Mead, Automotive Map

    3rd: Michael Satterfield, The Gentleman Racer

    ·       Scotty, Reiss, A Girls Guide to Cars. There’s some very good automotive journalism going on at Agirlsguidetocars.com. Founder Scotty Reiss and a solid roster of contributors would, as you’d expect, have a slightly different take on automotive journalism than the traditional white male author, and that’s a welcome addition to the plethora of fare out there.

    ·       Kristin V. Shaw, TODAY Parents. Kristin takes us for a 90-degree turn from where you think she’s headed in a moving column titled “My Dad Taught Me How to Recover From a Crash” at Community.today.com. Nicely done.

    ·       Natan Tazelaar, Vintage Motorsport magazine. Natan writes a detailed, comprehensive biography of the underrated Siata 208 S sports car.

    ·       G.R. Whale, Pickuptrucktalk.com. Greg hits all the right notes in his review of the Lexus GX460, making a fairly mundane SUV into something worth reading about.  


    NEWSPAPER WRITING

    1st: Mercedes Lilienthal, New York Times, “Driving Across the Globe to Fight Child Trafficking

    2nd: Jordan Golson, North State Journal, “Impressive excess: The 2020 Lexus LX 570 review

    3rd: Mercedes Lilienthal, New York Times, “Life on the Road in Pandemic America


    RADIO

    1st: The Automotive Reporter, Harold Gunn and Wayne Cronin, “Interview with Ford Historian Robert Kreipke: The History of the Model A

    2nd: The Car Pro USA Radio Show, Jerry Reynolds, “Car Pro on the CEO of Ford

    3rd: The Car Pro USA Radio Show, Jerry Reynolds, “Interview with Good Morning America's Adrienne Bankert


    WEB DESIGN

    1st: GarageDeluxe, Greg Riley, “Rolls Royce Cullinan Test Drive” AND (tie) “History of Jaguar”

    2nd: Jesus Garcia, The Drive, “Rebuilding high-school GMC

    3rd: Bill Owney, MotorcarsNow.com, “Camry Hybrid Test Drive


    VIDEO - Tie for First

    1st: The Fast Lane Truck, Andre Smirnov, Tommy Mica, and Roman Mica; “Small Jeep vs. Large Ford Truck On the World’s Most Beautiful Trail! No Pavement Needed Ep. 2”  

    2nd: Kitty’s Glam Rides, Natalie Merola-Garcia, “2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD: It’s Under $30K?!”  

    3rd: (tie) CarProUSA, Amy Plemons; “2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sport Review

    3rd: (tie) The Fast Lane Car, Roman Mica and Tommy Mica; “Nail Biter: We Race Two Budget Off-Roaders Up a 12,000 Foot Mountain Top! Montezuma Challenge Ep.1


    PHOTOGRAPHY

    1st: Mike Satterfield, The Gentleman Racer, “First Drive: 2020 Bentley Bentayga Speed”   

    2nd: Kristin Shaw, Drive Mode Show, “Glowing Yellow and Stormy Sea Sonata at Four Peaks-Off Road, Arizona

    3rd: Elias Garcia, Revmatch Media, “Super Lap Battle at COTA 2020


    PR/MARKETING PRESS KITS

    1st: Mazda, 2020 Mazda CX-30 Vehicle Press Kit


    For judge comments and profiles click here. 


  • Friday, October 23, 2020 2:12 PM | Amy Plemons (Administrator)


    TAWA ANNOUNCES 

    2020 TEXAS TRUCK RODEO FINALISTS


    Bee Cave, TX – Oct. 22, 2020 –  A successful 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo is in the rearview mirror! With social distancing and safety protocols in place during this unprecedented year, the Texas Auto Writers Association held its 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo in the Texas Hill Country in October. 

    Twenty-seven Texas Auto Writers Association members traveled to Star Hill Ranch outside Austin on October 5-6, 2020, to evaluate 39 trucks and SUVs on a new off-roading course designed for the event. Sue Mead, an accomplished off-roading journalist and member of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, was the 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo course director, overseeing the construction and design executed by Offcamber Design. Drivers had the opportunity to drive the vehicles on-road as well.

    Along with voting on Truck of Texas and SUV of Texas, members judged vehicles in ten sub-categories including Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas, Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas, Luxury SUV of Texas, Mid-size SUV of Texas and Compact SUV of Texas. Vehicles are measured on their interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal.  

    TAWA organizers took special care in event planning, making program changes to address the pandemic. Those included safety protocols that included requiring face masks, sanitizing vehicles between drives and creating a two-wave event to limit the number of journalists present at one time. TAWA thanks our participating members, automakers and press fleets for their support.

    2020 TEXAS TRUCK RODEO FINALISTS

    TAWA is now pleased to announce the finalists in select categories (in alphabetical order.) All winners will be announced November 5th in a Live Facebook Event on the Houston Auto Show Facebook Page. 

    Truck of Texas

    • 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
    • 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary
    • 2021 Ram 1500 TRX

    SUV of Texas

    • 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
    • 2021 Kia Telluride SX
    • 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

    Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas:  

    • 2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X CC
    • 2021 Ram 1500 TRX 
    • 2021 Toyota Tundra Trail Edition

    Mid-Size Pickup Truck of Texas:  

    • 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave
    • 2021 Jeep Gladiator Overland EcoDiesel
    • 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition

    Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas:  

    • 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave
    • 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
    • 2021 Ram 1500 TRX

    Luxury Sport Utility of Texas:  

    • 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit
    • 2020 Land Rover Defender 110SE
    • 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan

    Mid-Size Sport Utility of Texas:  

    • 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy AWD
    • 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    • 2021 Kia Telluride SX

    Compact Sport Utility of Texas:  

    • 2021 Jeep Cherokee Latitude LUX
    • 2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium Package AWD
    • 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

    Photography

    All event photography provided by Kevin McCauley. Event images can be found here. All images are for editorial use only and should be credited to Kevin McCauley. For commercial use, please contact Kevin McCauley / capturingthemachine.com

    Sponsors

    TAWA also wishes to thank all of our amazing sponsors for helping to make this year's event possible. Thank you to the Houston Auto Show, Katzkin, Prestige Auto, JBL by Harman and the Austin Auto Show.   

    About TAWA

    The Texas Auto Writers Association was founded in 1987 by automotive journalists who wanted to provide an avenue for professional growth, development, and networking. These professionals sought to create an automotive event that was unique to Texas, and the result was the TAWA Truck Rodeo. Since 1993, Truck Rodeos have been held in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury and Spring Branch, as well as Dripping Springs and for the past two years at the Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas.

    In 2003, TAWA created an event for sedans, sports cars, and other vehicles not eligible for the Truck Rodeo. The Texas Auto Roundup, as the event is called today, was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic with plans to return in the spring of 2021.  For more information, visit www.texasautowriters.org.

    Media Contact: Amy Plemons, amplemons.tvproducer@gmail.com

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019 8:12 PM | Scott Tilley (Administrator)

    Ram, Kia Win Top Awards in Texas

    Wednesday, November 11, 2019 8:09 PM | Derek Price  

    SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The Ram 1500 and Kia Telluride took home the top awards from the Texas Auto Writers Association's annual Texas Truck Rodeo in October.

    TAWA's journalist members named the half-ton Ram the Truck of Texas for the second year in a row after two days of evaluating vehicles on- and off-road in the Texas Hill Country. The Telluride, a new vehicle recently introduced by Kia, won the SUV of Texas award. The award winners were announced Nov. 20 at the San Antonio Auto and Truck Show.

    "Our journalist members were impressed with the continued capability and refinement in the Ram product line, particularly the 1500 compared to the domestic competitors at the event," said Michael Marrs, TAWA's president. "They also were impressed by the level of luxury and value in the new Telluride. It delivers a lot of practicality and comfort for Texas families."

    Ram won more awards than any other brand at the event. In addition to the prestigious Truck of Texas title, it won the heavy duty, luxury and full-size truck categories, along with several awards for its innovative features.

    Toyota won four awards, including the mid-size and full-size SUV categories with the RAV4 and Sequoia. Jeep's Gladiator and Wrangler won the mid-size pickup and off-road SUV categories, while Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Acura and Volvo also took home awards.

    TAWA's 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo included 56 journalists who evaluated 54 vehicles.

    A complete list of award winners is below.

    The 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo was sponsored by the Austin Auto Show, Big Tex Trailers, DFW Auto Show, Houston Auto Show, Katzkin Automotive Leather, San Antonio Auto & Truck Show, Prestige Auto and Wieck.

    For more information, contact Kristin Shaw, TAWA's Vice President for Events, at kristin.shaw@texasautowriters.org.


    2019 Texas Truck Rodeo Award Winners

    Truck of Texas: 2020 RAM 1500
    SUV of Texas: 2020 Kia Telluride 

    Subcompact Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2019 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk
    Compact Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road
    Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 KiaTelluride SX
    Full-Size Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro
    Compact Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Acura RDX A-Spec SH-AWD
    Mid-Size Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription
    Full-Size Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Lexus GX 460 Luxury
    Mid-Size Pickup Truck of Texas: 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland
    Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas: 2020 RAM 1500 Rebel
    Heavy Duty Pickup Truck of Texas: 2019 RAM 2500 Laramie Longhorn
    Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas: 2020 RAM 1500 Limited
    Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas: 2019 RAM 2500 Power Wagon
    Commercial Vehicle of Texas: 2019 Mercedes Sprinter Passenger 4x4
    Off-Road Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    Best Infotainment System: RAM Uconnect System & Touchscreen Display
    Best Powertrain: RAM EcoDiesel
    Best Towing: RAM Rear Air Suspension
    Best Safety Feature: Toyota Safety Sense P
    Best Driver Assist System: Toyota Panoramic View & Multi-Terrain Monitor


  • Thursday, November 07, 2019 10:55 AM | Kristin Shaw (Administrator)

    BEE CAVE, Texas - November 7, 2019 —The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) today announced the nine finalists vying for the coveted 2019 Truck of Texas, SUV of Texas, and Compact SUV of Texas crowns following this year's prestigious Texas Truck Rodeo event in the Texas Hill Country.

    More than 50 journalists drove 40+ trucks and SUVs over the course of a day and a half, putting the vehicles through off- and on-road routes to test the strengths and weaknesses of the trucks’ features and durability. Journalists judged each of the vehicles on five criteria: interior, exterior, performance, value and personal appeal.

    All finalists listed in alphabetical order by manufacturer:

    FINALISTS, TRUCK OF TEXAS

    2020 Jeep Gladiator

    2020 Ram 1500

    2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro 4x4

    FINALISTS, SUV OF TEXAS

    2020 Jeep Wrangler

    2020 Kia Telluride SX

    2020 Volvo XC90

    FINALISTS, COMPACT SUV OF TEXAS

    2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

    2019 Mazda CX-5

    2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

    The trophies for the Texas Truck Rodeo will be presented on November 20 at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show during the dealer preview gala.

    The 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo was hosted at the unique Star Hill Ranch, an event facility and movie set that has been host to the Texas Auto Writer Association dinners in the past. 

    Manufacturers celebrate the prestigious awards they earn at the Texas Truck Rodeo and often mention the honors in their press releases, promotional materials and campaigns across the globe.

    Sponsors of the 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo included the Austin Auto Show, Big Tex Trailers, DFW Auto Show, Houston Auto Show, Katzkin Automotive Leather, Prestige Auto, the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show, and Wieck.

    About TAWA

    For over 30 years, the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) has pursued its mission to promote accuracy and quality in the automotive journalism field. TAWA has grown to become one of the most influential and recognized automotive journalist associations in the United States. Journalist members of the association are among the most respected in the country.

    As part of TAWA’s efforts to serve journalist members who cover the automotive industry, the association annually hosts the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall. This event gives journalists the opportunity to drive and evaluate vehicles entered by manufacturers. Winners of the Truck Rodeo’s “Truck of Texas” award have announced their awards on national television commercials, and TAWA’s logo has even appeared in Super Bowl commercials.

    Texas Truck Rodeo trophy photo by Kevin McCauley


  • Wednesday, August 14, 2019 1:17 PM | Kristin Shaw (Administrator)


    AUSTIN, TX, August 14, 2019 – Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) will be hosting its 30th annual Texas Truck Rodeo October 27-19, 2019.

    For 30 years, the Texas Truck Rodeo has been a unique opportunity for journalist members of TAWA to evaluate pickup trucks and SUVs in a side-by-side comparison. This event offers real-time comparisons, which is important as journalists continue to learn about the evolving automotive industry and develop stories for outlets that reach potential consumers. Once the evaluations are completed and the votes from each journalist are accumulated, the prestigious Truck of Texas trophy is awarded.

    Almost 25 percent of trucks in the U.S. are sold in Texas, and many journalists are focused intensely on pickups; winning a head-to-head comparison is a significant award. Strong support from journalists, manufacturers, and sponsors help to keep this event fresh and new.

    Event credential pickup starts at 2:00 P.M CT on Sunday, Oct. 27, and events beginning at 5:00 P.M. CT. Look for more information in the next few weeks. 

    Date: October 27-29, 2019

    Location: Austin, Texas; the Sonesta Hotel will be the media base and the driving will take place at nearby Star Hill Ranch

    Notes for Media

    All participants must be members of TAWA as of September 1, 2019. Active members may reside in Texas or out of state; newspapers, magazines, and web sites - which are accessible anywhere - are applicable.

    Membership is dependent on approval by TAWA board; applicants must have five or more automotive-related articles in the past 12 months to qualify. See https://www.texasautowriters.org/membership/journalist for more information and to apply.

    Notes for Manufacturers

    Registration for vehicles will begin August 21, 2019

    Contact Information

    Kristin Shaw, VP of Events, Texas Auto Writers Association

    kristin.shaw@texasautowriters.org

    512-914-4954


  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019 3:32 PM | Derek Price

    A Dodge muscle car won the top award at the 2019 Texas Auto Roundup. After 44 journalist members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) evaluated 29 vehicles April 14-16, the 2019 Dodge Challenger was crowned the overall Car of Texas.

    “Driving enthusiasts in Texas love horsepower, and the Challenger’s classic muscular lines and monumental power won over our voters,” said Michael Marrs, president of TAWA and co-host of the In Wheel Time radio show in Houston. “The most powerful Challenger that Dodge brought to the Roundup — the SRT Hellcat Redeye — drew attention for its 797-horsepower engine and raucous exhaust note.”

    The Challenger also won the Performance Car of Texas title. Other top awards include the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as Family Car of Texas and 2020 Kia Telluride as CUV of Texas.

    TAWA members, who cover the automotive industry for print, online and broadcast outlets across the United States, voted on the top vehicles after spending two days comparing them in Denton, Texas. They took the vehicles on a series of street and handling exercises, pushing performance cars and taking other vehicles on slalom, acceleration and braking tests. Members also learned about the new vehicles’ features and changes from manufacturer representatives.

    OVERALL AWARDS

    CAR OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2019 Dodge Challenger
    Runner-Up: 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

    PERFORMANCE CAR OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2019 Dodge Challenger
    Runner-Up: 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

    FAMILY CAR OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2019 Chrysler Pacifica
    Runner-Up: 2019 Nissan Maxima

    CUV OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2020 Kia Telluride
    Runner-Up: 2019 Mercedes-Benz E63 S Wagon


    CATEGORY AWARDS

    COMPACT CAR
    Winner: 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE
    Runner-Up: 2020 Toyota Corolla LE Hybrid

    MID-SIZE CAR
    Winner: 2019 Nissan Maxima Platinum

    MINIVAN
    Winner: 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

    GREEN VEHICLE
    Winner: 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS SV
    Runner-Up: 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited

    MID-SIZE LUXURY CAR
    Winner: 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport
    Runner-Up: 2019 Lexus ES 300h Luxury

    PERFORMANCE COMPACT
    Winner: 2019 Volkswagen GTI SE

    PERFORMANCE COUPE
    Winner: 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye
    Runner-Up: 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody

    PERFORMANCE SEDAN
    Winner: 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
    Runner-Up: 2019 Volkswagen GLI 35th Anniversary Edition

    COMPACT CUV
    Winner: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD
    Runner-Up: 2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid

    MID-SIZE CUV
    Winner: 2020 Kia Telluride SX

    LUXURY CUV
    Winner: 2019 Mercedes-Benz E63 S Wagon Carbon Fiber
    Runner-Up: 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

  • Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:09 PM | Derek Price

    BEE CAVE, Texas — After two days of evaluations, journalist members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) selected the 2019 Ram 1500 as Truck of Texas.

    The award was presented Oct. 16 at the culmination of the Texas Truck Rodeo, presented by the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), in which 69 journalists drove 57 vehicles and voted on winners across a range of consumer categories.

    In addition to the Ram 1500 winning the overall prize, the 2019 Maserati Levante GTS won SUV of Texas and 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio took home CUV of Texas. Complete results from the voting are listed below.

    “TAWA journalists know their trucks, and they picked the new Ram as the clear winner,” said Michael Marrs, TAWA president. “Our members said the truck performed well even in challenging weather conditions during the Hill Country floods this year. It was also noteworthy that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles swept all the overall awards at this year’s competition.”

    After a morning of off-road driving on Monday, torrential rain and safety concerns forced the remainder of the event to move to on-road evaluations. Still, journalists said they enjoyed their brief time driving four-wheel-drive vehicles on slippery Texas hills and through deep mud — conditions that challenge even the best 4x4s and uncover strengths and weaknesses of off-road products.

    "Being named the Texas Auto Writers Association's Truck of Texas is the highest honor in the world's largest pickup market," said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand and U.S. Sales; Chairman, President and CEO, FCA Canada Inc. "The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 offers the best combination of class exclusive features, refinement capability and efficiency. Winning this award is a challenge, but the Ram 1500  is well suited to the hard-working needs of Texas truck buyers."

    At the end of the event, journalists judged each of the vehicles in five criteria: Interior, Exterior, Performance, Value and Personal Appeal.

    In addition to SMDI’s title sponsorship, other sponsors of the 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo included LINE-X Protective Coatings, Saddleback Leather Company, Katzkin Automotive Leather, the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show, DFW Auto Show, Houston Auto Show, AutomotiveTouchup and Wieck.


    OVERALL AWARDS
    TRUCK OF TEXAS

    Winner: 2019 Ram 1500
    Runner Up: 2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

    SUV OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2019 Maserati Levante GTS
    Runner Up: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

    CUV OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
    Runner Up: 2019 Mazda CX-9


    CATEGORY AWARDS
    COMPACT CUV

    Winner: 2019 Nissan Kicks SR
    Runner Up: 2019 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD

    MID-SIZE CUV
    Winner: 2018 Nissan Murano Midnight Edition AWD
    Runner Up: 2019 Honda Pilot Elite

    FULL-SIZE CUV
    Winner: 2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD
    Runner Up: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL

    LUXURY CUV
    Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
    Runner Up: 2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport

    SUB-COMPACT SUV
    Winner: 2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD
    Runner Up: 2018 Fiat 500X Trekking AWD

    COMPACT SUV
    Winner: 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure
    Runner Up: 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

    MID-SIZE SUV
    Winner: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
    Runner Up: 2019 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade Limited

    FULL-SIZE SUV
    Winner: 2019 Dodge Durango SRT
    Runner Up: 2019 Nissan Armada Platinum 4x4

    COMPACT LUXURY SUV
    Winner: 2019 Volvo XC40 R-Design
    Runner Up: 2019 Acura RDX Advance

    MID-SIZE LUXURY SUV
    Winner: 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit
    Runner Up: 2019 Lexus RX 350L

    FULL-SIZE LUXURY SUV
    Winner: 2019 Maserati Levante GTS
    Runner Up: 2019 Infiniti QX80 Limited

    OFF-ROAD UTILITY VEHICLE
    Winner: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    Runner Up: 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

    MID-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK
    Winner: 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

    FULL-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK
    Winner: 2019 Ram 1500 Limited
    Runner Up: 2019 Nissan Titan Crew Cab SL

    HEAVY DUTY PICKUP TRUCK
    Winner: 2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

    LUXURY PICKUP TRUCK
    Winner: 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn
    Runner Up: 2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve

    OFF-ROAD PICKUP TRUCK
    Winner: 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel
    Runner Up: 2019 Nissan Titan PRO-4X

    COMMERCIAL VEHICLE
    Winner: 2019 Nissan Titan XD Single Cab


    FEATURE AWARDS
    BEST TECHNOLOGY

    Winner: UConnect 4C With 12-inch Screen
    Runner Up: Infiniti Smart Rearview Mirror

    BEST POWERTRAIN
    Winner: Ram eTorque Mild Hybrid
    Runner Up: Infiniti VC-Turbo

    BEST CONNECTIVITY
    Winner: Volvo Sensus



  • Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:00 PM | Derek Price

    The following are the results from each TAWA bylaw proposal on the ballot at Truck Rodeo this year:


    Proposed Bylaw Amendments


    Article IV Board of Directors
    Section 1 Composition


    Summary: Eliminates the position of Past President as the ninth member of the Board of Directors. Empowers the President to have a tie-breaking vote.

    Current Wording: The Board of Directors shall be composed of nine (9) elected members who are elected to a designated Officer position to one of six (6) designated Officer positions plus two (2) At-Large Directors. The immediate Past-President serves as the ninth member of the Board of Directors. If the organization has an Executive Director, this person will serve on the board as a non-voting member.

    Proposed Wording: The Board of Directors shall be composed of eight (8) elected members who are elected to one of six (6) designated Officer positions plus two (2) At-Large Directors. The Board President does not have voting power except in cases of a tie. If the organization has an Executive Director, this person will serve on the board as a non-voting member.

    RESULT: No, 31-15


    Article IV Board of Directors
    Section 3 Elections
    Paragraph G


    Summary: Under our current bylaws, elections are held every two years for the entire board. This proposal would create staggered terms so that four board members come up for election every single year. If this amendment passes, an election will be held for all board members at the 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo, according to the current bylaws, but four of those elected positions will be for one-year terms to create the staggered election schedule for the future. All elections will be for two-year terms thereafter.

    Current Wording: Terms of all Board Members, Officers, Committee Chairs, and Committee Members will be based on a Calendar Year basis, running from January 1 to December 31 of the second year of the officer’s term.

    Proposed Wording: Terms of all Board Members, Officers, Committee Chairs, and Committee Members will be based on a Calendar Year basis, running from January 1 to December 31 of the second year of the officer’s term. Elections will be held in odd years for the President, 1st VP, Secretary and one Director at Large; and even years for the 2nd VP, 3rd VP, Treasurer and the remaining Director at Large. An initial election with one-year terms for four positions will be allowed to facilitate the transition in 2019.

    RESULT: Yes, 41-5



    Article IV Board of Directors
    Section 3 Elections
    Paragraph G


    Summary: This proposal creates a term limit for the President position, not allowing them to serve consecutive terms. Note that it does not stop past Presidents from serving at a later date.

    Current Wording: Members will be limited to serving two (2) consecutive terms in any elected position on the Board of Directors.

    Proposed Wording: The President may not serve in consecutive terms, and all other members will be limited to serving two (2) consecutive terms in any elected position on the Board of Directors.

    RESULT: Yes, 41-5




    Article IV Board of Directors
    Section 5 Vacancies


    Summary: This cleans up the wording about our current terms of office, which are two years, not one year.

    Current Wording: Vacancies on the Board might occur as a result of a member being dropped, moving out of the State, or otherwise resigning prior to the fulfillment of their one year term of office.

    Proposed Wording: Vacancies on the Board might occur as a result of a member being dropped, moving out of the State, or otherwise resigning prior to the fulfillment of their term of office.

    RESULT: Yes, 42-4



    Article V Officers
    B. First Vice-President — Membership


    Summary: Designates the First Vice-President as our President-Elect. If this passes, there will be an election for TAWA President in 2019, but there would not be an election for President in future years. The First Vice-President would automatically ascend into the President’s role when the term expires.

    Current Wording: The First Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in his or her absence.

    Proposed Wording: The First Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in his or her absence, as well as hold the position of President-Elect. At the end of the President's term, the First VP shall ascend to the position of President for one term.

    RESULT: Yes, 31-15
  • Monday, October 08, 2018 9:25 PM | Derek Price

    The countdown begins! There are only seven more days until the 2018 Texas Truck Rodeo that will be held on the 1,600 acres of the Longhorn River Ranch nestled in the rolling Texas Hill Country. There are 69 journalists registered to attend the two-day event with 19 automotive brands being represented with their latest in pickup trucks, SUVs and CUVs for our journalist members to evaluate. This includes first-time attendee Maserati and the return of Mitsubishi.

    For over 20 years, the Texas Truck Rodeo has been a unique opportunity for the journalist members of the Texas Auto Writers Association to evaluate pickup trucks, SUVs and CUVs in a side-by-side comparison. We can literally drive one vehicle and immediately drive the competitors on the same roads to do a real-time comparison of fresh products, an opportunity found in very few places. This is an important aspect of the event as journalists continue to learn about the evolving automotive industry and develop stories for outlets that reach potential automotive consumers. Once the evaluations are completed and the votes from each journalist are accumulated, the Truck of Texas is crowned. 

    "In Texas, where almost 25 percent of trucks are sold and where many journalists are focused intensely on pickups, winning a head-to-head comparison is no small task.  We have 19 brands represented this year, and while it is regrettable that General Motors and Ford have decided not to attend, the Texas Truck Rodeo will continue to provide our members with outstanding and unique opportunities to research important vehicles.  We continue to have strong support from journalists this year, and there is a growing number of event sponsors that will be in attendance. While we look forward to General Motors and Ford rejoining the event again in the future, many of our participating manufacturers are bringing more vehicles this year for our members to drive," said Mike Marrs, President of TAWA.

    Event credential pickup starts at noon Sunday, Oct. 14, with activities starting as early as 5 p.m. for the TAWA general membership meeting. Then it is "put the pedal to the metal" with a full schedule of activities for two days. Look for more information this week as we finalize plans, and by all means, safe travels to the Rodeo.

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