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  • 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 (Administrator)

    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 (Administrator)

    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 (Administrator)

    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 (Administrator)

    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.

  • Sunday, October 07, 2018 6:59 PM | Derek Price (Administrator)

    The following amendments to TAWA's bylaws will be on the ballot for journalists at the 2018 Texas Truck Rodeo:


    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.

    Board recommends a NO Vote


    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.

    Board recommends a YES Vote



    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.

    Board recommends a YES Vote




    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.

    Board recommends a YES Vote



    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.

    Board recommends a YES Vote
  • Monday, October 01, 2018 4:35 PM | Derek Price (Administrator)

    DALLAS — Automotive journalist David Boldt was named the overall winner in the 2018 Texas Truck Invitational writing competition Thursday at the State Fair of Texas.

    The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), which oversees the contest, announced the award winners Thursday during the media preview of the Texas Auto Show. Boldt won for a report published on txGarage.com about electric vehicles titled “Trucks aren't evil and EVs aren't salvation. Let us pray.”

    Bill Owney won the Invitational’s newspaper division with a story about the newly redesigned Ram 1500 pickup.
    In addition to the Invitational, a national contest open to all journalists who cover the truck industry, TAWA announced its Excellence in Craft Competition award winners at the event.

    “We’re proud of all the great automotive journalism happening in Texas and beyond,” said Houston broadcaster Michael Marrs, TAWA’s president. “We’re glad we can recognize the high-quality, meaningful content being produced by our members and people who cover tucks and SUVs nationally — an important segment for many American families.”

    Katzkin Automotive Leather has supported the contest for a second year, greatly adding to the Texas Truck Invitational writing competition with its contribution of a leather interior for the overall winner. “TAWA members strongly lobbied for the addition of a Video category, and it was added for the 2018 Excellence in Craft Competition,” said Tim Spell, who organized the contests for TAWA. “Participation in the new category was strong and the quality of the entries was high.”

    "The credentials of the Video category entrants were at such a high level that a panel of three highly accredited judges were used,” Spell said. “Each have a strong visual arts background and offer different professional experiences in videography, graphic design and photography. Thanks to judges Stan Hulen, Chris Waits and Ivan Galvan for contributing their valuable time and expertise.”

    Winners of the PR/Marketing Press Kit category – Ram Truck, Jeep and Mazda PR — were all standout entries. 

    Hulen said the first-place Ram 1500 Press Kit was “a one-two knockout combo of a dramatic, informative online microsite and a bold physical package of rugged Ram goodies makes this year’s winning entry memorable. Well-designed and well-executed, this press kit is dynamite.”

    The new EICC Radio category judge, Jaime Florez, said the quality level of the entries was high. “I had a wonderful time listening to great pieces from very respectable journalists,” he said.

    TEXAS TRUCK INVITATIONAL
    NEWSPAPER WRITING

    • 1st Place – David Boldt — txGarage.com — "Trucks aren't evil and EVs aren't salvation. Let us pray."
    • 2nd Place – William Owney — Texarkana Gazette — "Sprinter van saves the day"
    • 3rd Place – Kelly Taylor — Winnipeg Free Press — "Slimmed down and raring to go / New Expedition handles extremely well"

    MAGAZINE WRITING
    • 1st Place – William Owney – MotorcarsNow — "Ram closes gap with Ford as hybrid meets Hemi"
    • 2nd Place – Derek Shiekhi — JK-Forum.com — "Wagonmaster Breathes New Life into Jeep Classics"
    • 3rd Place – Natan Tazelaar — Texas Truck Tribe — "1960 USAF Ford F-250 Crew Cab - 3rd Generation Veteran”

    OVERALL WINNER — David Boldt

    TAWA EXCELLENCE IN CRAFT COMPETITION
    WEB DESIGN

    • 1st Place – Michael Garfield — iHeartVehicles.com — "Driven with An Opinion"
    • 2nd Place – Michael Satterfield — Gentleman Racer — "12 High Performance Driving Schools & Experiences"
    • 3rd Place – Sherri Tilley – TheFlashList.com — "5 Reasons Every Girl NEEDS a Rolls-Royce Ghost"
    • SPECIAL RECOGNITION – James Nelson — InWheelTime.com — "After all these years, still taming the wild in 4Runner style!"

    VIDEO
    • 1st Place – Nathan Adlen, Tommy Mica, Andre Smirnov – "Cliffhanger 2.0 in Chevy ZR2, Ford Raptor, and Ram Power Wagon"
    • 2nd Place – Michael Garfield — "Rolling in the 2018 Corolla"
    • 3rd Place – Sherri Tilley — "Toyota Invests $170 Million at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi"
    • SPECIAL RECOGNITION – Greg Riley — "2017 Mazda 6 Grand Touring"
    • SPECIAL RECOGNITION – Jesus Garcia — "2018 Ford Mustang GT Review Road Test"

    PR/MARKETING PRESS KITS
    • 1st Place – David Elshoff/Ram Truck, Ram 1500 Press Kit
    • 2nd Place – Jeep, Jeep Wrangler Press Kit
    • 3rd Place – Mazda PR, Mazda6 Press kit

    RADIO
    • 1st Place – Michael Herzing and Matt Perrault — Let’s Talk Wheels — "Mike Herzing's Automotive Tips"
    • 2nd Place – Don Armstrong, Mike Marrs and Konrad DeLong — In Wheel Time — "Interview with Antron Brown, Professional Drag Racer"
    • 3rd Place – Harold Gunn and Wayne Cronin — The Automotive Reporter — "Interview with Ford Motor Co. Historian Emeritus Bob Kreipke"

    NEWSPAPER WRITING
    • 1st Place – David Boldt — txGarage.com — "Hyundai Introduces the New Kona — Lucky You"
    • 2nd Place – William Owney — Texarkana Gazette — "Sprinter van saves the day"
    • 3rd Place – Michael Garfield — Houston Chronicle — "Toyota RAV4 Shows Why It Was Top-Selling Passenger Vehicle Last Year"

    MAGAZINE WRITING
    • 1st Place – Natan Tazelaar — Motor Car Journal — “Peugeot 907 Concept - French Super Model”
    • 2nd Place – Derek Shiekhi – JK-Forum.com — "Wagonmaster Breathes New Life into Jeep Classics"
    • 3rd Place – Tabatha Chovanetz — Focus Magazine/The Motor Mistress — "Mazda in Marfa"
    • SPECIAL RECOGNITION — Nick Smirnis — Building Savvy Magazine — "Polaris Slingshot-A Toy with Attitude"

    PHOTOGRAPHY
    • SPECIAL RECOGNITION — Joe Sage — Arizona Driver Magazine — VW Golf GTI White Silver

    JUDGE BIOGRAPHIES
    Stan Hulen: Web Design, PR Press Kits and Video

    Stan is an award-winning Dallas designer with more than 35 years of experience. Starting his career with a journalism degree from University of Missouri, he worked as Art Director for both the Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald until he started his own design firm 25 years ago. Since then, he has served a variety of clients including the State Fair of Texas, Baylor Scott & White Healthcare, Texas Instruments, SMU, Southwest Airlines, and the cities of Frisco and Plano, Texas. 
    An avid automotive-design buff, Stan said he’s devoured every car magazine he could get his hands on for the past 50 years.

    Christian Alan Waits - M.Photog. Cr (Master Craftsman Degree): Video and Photography

    Christian has been a photographer for 45+ Years.

    Degrees: Commercial Photography Degree from East Texas State University, with High Honors, Master of Photography, Professional Photographers of America 1992, Craftsman Photographer, Professional Photographers of America 1993, Past President Dallas Professional Photographers Association 1993, Christian holds the degree of Master Craftsman Photographer in Professional Photographers of America. Awards, professional organizations: Christian is a videographer for Dallas summers musicals and has a website where he does video interviews of musical cast. He also does special-effects videos and B-roll for musicals to go with appearances on WFAA TV.

    He has been awarded the Kodak Gallery Award for Photographic Excellence, SWPA Best Commercial, SWPA Special Award Best Commercial Product, TPPA Best Overall Commercial, TPPA Best Product, Dallas PPA Best Commercial, Loan Collection Photograph and numerous first-place Distinguished Print Awards and Merits. Christian has lectured at many photography guilds and conventions throughout New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. He is Past President Dallas Professional Photographers Association and Charter Fellowship Dallas PPA. Christian is currently the Dallas Summer Musicals photographer.

    Ivan Galvan: Video
    Ivan is CEO/Founder and Creative Director of DINOR Professional Corp. He’s responsible for the company’s growth, and is hands-on in the design of company’s website, graphic design and video production to promote the company’s products.

    Ivan is past graphics design director for the Houston Chronicle’s regular and special automotive sections, as well as Mixed Metal tuner magazine.

    His awards include 2006 International Automotive Media Association “Best of Graphics” honor, 2008 46th Houston Advertising Federation Gold ADDY Award and 2009 47th Houston Advertising Federation Gold ADDY Award.

    Jaime Florez: Radio
    Jaime is in charge of organizing all events attended by Governor Rick Scott in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe, Florida counties, and responsible for all logistics details. He also serves as a translator for Gov. Scott during interviews with Spanish media outlets.

    Jaime is director and host of Ruedas ESPN, a two-hour national radio show aired every Sunday on ESPN Deportes Radio (38+ station affiliates throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico) and XM/Sirius satellite radio, Channel 157.

    He is former Manager of Public Relations, Communications and Marketing for the North-American office of Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian government’s Trade and Investment Promotion Agency. His duties included spearheading the IZOD IndyCar Series trade and energy partnership. Jaime also was Publisher, Editorial Director and founder of a network of magazines in Spanish that circulated 650K copies, inserted within the eight largest newspapers.

    Steven Cole Smith: Newspaper and Magazine Writing/Texas Truck Invitational

    Steven holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and was a TAWA founding member. He’s formerly the executive editor of Car and Driver and AMI Auto World magazines, and he wrote a weekly column for the New York Times Syndicate for seven years.

    He has worked for newspapers in Louisiana, Texas and Florida, and has had bylined stories in hundreds of publications ranging from The Times of London to Forbes magazine to the Financial Times.

    He has held NHRA Pro Comp, IMSA, NARRA and SCCA Pro racing licenses. Steven also was the executive producer of Car and Driver Television, and hosted a nationally syndicated motorsports radio program, as well as two weekly local automotive radio shows in Florida.

  • Tuesday, April 17, 2018 4:18 PM | Marc Newman (Administrator)

    DECATUR, Texas — Lexus and Chrysler won the top two awards at the 2018 Texas Auto Roundup on April 16-17, presented by the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI). After 49 members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) evaluated 46 vehicles, the 2018 Lexus LC 500 was crowned the overall Car of Texas. In addition, the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica took home the event’s other top award, the Family Car 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 at Eagles Canyon Raceway in Decatur, Texas. They took the vehicles on a series of exercises on the 2.5-mile racetrack, pushing performance cars and taking other vehicles on slalom, acceleration and braking tests. They also learned about the new vehicles’ features and changes from manufacturer representatives.

    “Our journalists had a clear decision after driving vehicles at a new venue this year,” said Michael Marrs, TAWA’s president. “They thought the new Lexus LC stood out among the competitors for its eye-catching looks and refined but muscular performance on the track.” In addition to SMDI’s title sponsorship, the 2018 event also was supported by the Polaris Slingshot and Wieck Media.

    Other category award winners from the 2018 Texas Auto Roundup include:

    ACTIVITY VEHICLE

    • Winner: 2018 Infiniti QX80
    • Runner-Up: 2018 Jeep Wrangler

    COMPACT CAR

    • Winner: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
    • Runner-Up: 2018 Volkswagen Golf R

    MID-SIZE CAR

    • Winner: 2018 Toyota Camry
    • Runner-Up: 2018 Volkswagen Passat

    FULL-SIZE CAR

    • Winner: 2019 Toyota Avalon
    • Runner-Up: 2018 Honda Accord

    FULL-SIZE LUXURY CAR

    • Winner: 2018 Lexus LS 500
    • Runner-Up: 2019 Infiniti QX50

    GREEN VEHICLE

    • Winner: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
    • Runner-Up: 2018 Honda Clarity

    MINIVAN

    • Winner: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica

    PERFORMANCE COMPACT

    • Winner: 2018 Honda Civic Type R
    • Runner-Up: 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata

    PERFORMANCE COUPE

    • Winner: 2018 Lexus LC 500
    • Runner-Up: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody

    PERFORMANCE SEDAN

    • Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
    • Runner-Up: 2018 Kia Stinger

    PERFORMANCE UTILITY

    • Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
    • Runner-Up: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT

    SUPERCAR

    • Winner: 2018 Mercedes-Benz GT R
    • Runner-Up: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

    BEST TECHNOLOGY

    • Winner: World’s First Production-Ready Variable Compression Ratio Engine, 2019 Infiniti QX50

    BEST NEW INTERIOR

    • Winner: 2019 Toyota Avalon Touring


    Contacts

    TAWA
    Derek Price, 256-275-4333
    VP - Communications
    derek.price@texasautowriters.org
    https://texasautowriters.org/

  • Thursday, October 19, 2017 9:31 AM | Fabian Campos (Administrator)

    SHARE

    TAWA  30years128

    TAWA ANNOUNCES 2017 TEXAS TRUCK RODEO WINNERS

    Austin, TX – Oct. 17, 2017 –The 2018 Ford F150 was named the 2018 Truck of Texas by The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) following the Texas Truck Rodeo in Dripping Springs, Texas, where 75 journalists evaluated and voted on the best in class vehicles in 21 categories.

    Sixty-four vehicles, with a combined value of nearly $4 million were test driven and compared over a two-day period at Longhorn River Ranch just outside of Austin.

    "With the new 2018 F-150, we're honored to earn back-to-back Truck of Texas awards for F-Series, a recognition that speaks to the truck team's dedication to our hard-working customers," said Raj Nair, executive vice president and president of North America. "That's especially true here in Texas - truck capital of the world.”

    Officers

    Officers of the TAWA board and the Ford Truck Team celebrate the 2018 Ford F-150 Truck of Texas Award

    Photo by Kevin McCauley / capturingthemachine.com

    The 2018 Volvo XC60 was named the SUV of Texas and the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport was named the CUV of Texas.

    The TAWA Truck Rodeo, presented by Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), was held in the scenic Texas Hill Country as vehicles were tested both on local streets and on off-road courses. TAWA members were able to get a full experience of the vehicles driving on rough terrain, climbing rocks, crossing creeks and dodging exotic wildlife. 

    Engineers from the competing manufacturers were on hand to answer questions from journalists about the vehicles and to aid in the evaluation process. Vehicles are measured on their interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal.  

    “The competition was incredibly fierce at this year’s Texas Truck Rodeo,”  TAWA President Nic Phillips said. “More than 70 member journalists put in more 300 hours of driving time evaluating the vehicles presented. The results in several categories are separated by the narrowest of margins, just tenths, and hundredths of a point, confirming just how competitive the trucks and utility vehicles are today,” Phillips said. “Ford’s 2018 F-150 Pickup, boosted by its extreme performance 2018 Raptor model along with updated EcoBoost engines and 10-speed transmissions, convinced our journalists to bestow the trophy,” he said. “Nissan was the most overall awarded brand with five category wins, Mazda swept non-luxury CUVs, and Alfa Romeo’s all-new Stelvio Ti Sport took CUV of Texas.”

    The

    The 24th TAWA Truck of Texas trophy is placed upon this year's winner, the new 2018 Ford F-150

    Photo by Kevin McCauley / capturingthemachine.com

    The 2018 award categories and winning vehicles were:

    • Truck of Texas: 2018 Ford F150
    • SUV of Texas: 2018 Volvo XC60
    • CUV of Texas: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport
    • Heavy duty pickup truck: 2018 Ram 2500 Limited Tungsten
    • Best commercial vehicle: 2018 Nissan Titan King Cab SV
    • Luxury pickup truck: 2018 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Southfork
    • Off-road pickup: 2017 Ford F150 Raptor
    • Full-size pickup: 2018 Nissan Titan Midnight Edition
    • Midsize pickup: 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
    • Best technology: Nissan Pro Pilot
    • Best connectivity: Volvo XC60
    • Best powertrain: Volvo XC60
    • Off-road utility vehicle: 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Recon
    • Sub-Compact SUV: 2017 Jeep Renegade Desert Hawk
    • Compact SUV: 2018 Nissan Rogue Platinum
    • Mid-size Luxury SUV: 2018 Volvo XC60
    • Compact Luxury SUV: 2018 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD
    • Full-size SUV: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT
    • Mid-size SUV: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
    • Compact SUV: 2018 Nissan Rogue Platinum
    • Full-size CUV: 2018 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD
    • Mid-size CUV: 2017 Mazda CX5 Grand Touring GT
    • Compact CUV: 2018 Mazda CX3 Grand Touring FWD
    • Luxury CUV: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport

    *Additional 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.

    The Texas Auto Writers Association, Inc. was founded in 1985 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 1992, Truck Rodeos have been held in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury and Spring Branch, and now Dripping Springs.

    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, has been held annually at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. For more information, visit www.texasautowriters.org.

    CONTACT: Fabian Campos

    fabian.campos@texasautowriters.org

    214.674.8987

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