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  • Monday, January 05, 2015 12:08 AM | Michael Marrs (Administrator)

    TAWA is very pleased to announce that the trophies for the 2014 Texas Truck Rodeo will be presented to the winners at the 2015 Houston Auto Show.  The presentation will be during the Preview Gala the night before the media day and the show opening. 

    It is a great opportunity for TAWA to be presenting these awards in front of the Houston Auto Dealers Association membership.

  • Monday, October 13, 2014 8:12 AM | Michael Marrs (Administrator)

    Ford F-150 Named Truck of Texas at 2014 Texas Auto Writers Assn. Truck Rodeo

    The all-new Ford F-150 was named Truck of Texas at the 2014 Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Truck Rodeo.

    “This year, the Texas Truck Rodeo had a record number of vehicles on hand for our members to evaluate,’ said Michael Marrs, president of TAWA, “We want to thank all of our partners in the automotive industry as well as sponsors for making this such a great event.”

    Sixty auto writers drove 75 vehicles on and off road for two days (Oct. 9-10) at the Knibbe Ranch outside San Antonio to choose the prestigious Truck of Texas.   This year’s Texas Truck Rodeo, which was sponsored by the Steel Market Development Institute, also saw the 2015 Lincoln MKC take the CUV of Texas; the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee capture the SUV of Texas title for an unprecedented fifth straight year; and Ford being named the Truck Line of Texas.

    Doug Scott, marketing manager of Ford’s truck group, said, “This is a significant honor, one of the three big ones along with the Motor Trend and North American Truck of the year awards.  Our entire truck team is proud and honored to win the Truck of Texas trophy.”

    Winning the Compact Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) title was the 2015 Honda CR-V Touring; the 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium was named the Mid-size CUV; the 2015 Kia Sedona SX was named Full-size CUV; and the 2015 Lincoln MKC was named Luxury CUV.

    Stephane Cesareo, Lincoln Global Communications Manager, said, “It’s been a long time since Lincoln participated in the TAWA Truck Rodeo and we will definitely keep coming back.  I had never been to Texas and have really enjoyed meeting the friendly members of TAWA and seeing some of the Hill Country of Texas.”

    The 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk was named Compact Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV); the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 was named Mid-size SUV; the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD was named Full-size SUV; and the 2015 Range Rover Evoque 5-Door was named Compact Luxury SUV.

    "We are extremely delighted and proud that for the fifth consecutive year, the respected and influential Texas auto writers have named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the SUV of Texas," said Mike Manley, president and CEO of Chrysler Group’s Jeep Brand.


    The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit EcoDiesel 4x4 was named Mid-size Luxury SUV; and the 2015 GMC Yukon Denali was named Full-size Luxury SUV.  The 2015 Jeep Wrangler was named Off-road SUV.

    Mid-size Pickup Truck title was won by the 2015 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab; and Full-size Pickup Truck was the 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch.  Luxury Pickup Truck was the 2015 Ford F-150 Platinum; and Heavy Duty Pickup Truck was the 2015 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn.  Off-road Pickup Truck was the 2015 Ram Power Wagon.

    Commercial Vehicle was the 2015 Ford Transit 250.  Other winners were Best Connectivity, Chrysler Group’s Uconnect Access; Best Powertrain, Chrysler Group 3.0-liter V-6 Eco Diesel Engine; and Best Technology, 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch high- strength military-grade aluminum body.

    The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) was founded in 1987, with a mission to promote quality and accuracy in automotive journalism and disseminate information about the industry through news related print, online and broadcast media.  For more information, please visit www.texasautowriters.org.  TAWA’s communication are powered by PR Newswire.

                                                                # # #

    Media contact:  Communications@texasautowriters.org; 469-363-7371

  • Monday, September 29, 2014 9:16 AM | Michael Marrs (Administrator)

    Texas Auto Writers Association Names Winners of Excellence in Craft Competition

    Dallas, TX, September 29, 2014…Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) announced the winners of their eighth annual Excellence in Craft Competition at a lunch event held at the Music Hall at Fair Park September 25.  The five categories and winning entries follow:

    English Language Newspaper, judged by esteemed newsman, author, and four-time Pulitzer Prize nominee Hugh Aynesworth.

    • 1.      Derek Shiekhi, Austin American Statesman article about Austin’s new police fleet using Ford’s Police Interceptor Utility vehicle to replace Crown Victoria models.
    • 2.      Steve Wheeler, Baton Route Advocate, column evaluating the 2014 Toyota Corolla.
    • 3.      Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, consumer report on replacement tire costs.

    Spanish Language Newspaper, judged by bilingual Northwood University MBA candidate Francisco Chairez Yanez.

    • 1.       Gretha Gudmundsson, El Lider USA, article on the 2015 Hyundai Genesis.
    • 2.       Krystle Smart, El Lider USA, article on 2015 Chrysler 200 C.
    • 3.       Fabian Campos, Mercado Billingue, article on the 2013 Chrysler 300 SRT8 Core.

    Magazine, judged by award-winning journalist and author Carlton Stowers. 

    • 1.      Marty Bernstein (co-authored by Jackie Jouret), Bimmer article on “The Amazing Mal Hoffman.”
    • 2.      Beverly Smirnis, Greater DFW Metroplex Building Savvy article about SUVs in today’s Texas market.
    • 3.      Steve Smirnis, Building Savvy Magazine article on four door cabs.

    Radio, judged by longtime CBS stations newscaster and Radio Hall of Fame member Mitch Carr.

    • 1.       The Car Pro Show (Jerry Reynolds hosts syndicated program on WBAP, KRLD and numerous other stations across the country with sidekick Kevin McCarthy).   
    • 2.       In Wheel Time (Houston area radio show featuring Mike Herzing and Don Armstrong).
    • 3.       The Automotive Reporter, radio show hosted by Harold Gunn in the Houston area.

    Internet, judged by husband and wife entrepreneurs and car enthusiasts Scott and Sherri Tilley (theflashlist.com).

    • 1.       Mark McNab, TopSpeed.com, article on the 2015 Hyundai Genesis.
    • 2.       Marlon Hanson, FocusDailyNews.com, 2015 Dodge Challenger.
    • 3.       Holly Reich, JeanKnowsCars.com, article about Land Rover Driving School.

    “The Excellence in Craft Competition is the opportunity to showcase the work of our members,” said Michael Marrs, President of the Texas Auto Writers Association.  “The 2014 competition was an outstanding success, with Chairperson Durhl Caussey putting together an esteemed panel of judges that really had their work cut out for them due to a record number of 61 entries.”

    Texas Auto Writers Association is a nonprofit organization that has promoted professionalism and quality in automotive journalism for more than two decades. TAWA produces two annual events that have gained national traction: the Texas Truck Rodeo and the Texas Auto Roundup at Texas Motor Speedway. Each year, TAWA awards scholarships to Texas college and university students with a journalism major.   The group’s annual Excellence in Craft Competition recognizes its members’ exceptional coverage of the automotive industry. 

                                                                # # #

    For more information about TAWA, visit www.texasautowriters.org. 

    For media information, please contact Jo Ann Holt Caussey, VP Communications, at communications@texasautowriters.org.





  • Wednesday, September 03, 2014 10:38 AM | Michael Marrs (Administrator)

    The Texas Auto Writers Association is very proud to announce that the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) is the title sponsor for the 2014 Texas Truck Rodeo!

    The steel industry is an integral part of automobile manufacturing, and in Texas that means trucks!  The Texas Truck Rodeo is the premier event for journalist members to evaluate the leading trucks, SUVs, and CUVs on the market, and with SMDI, there will be even more opportunity!

    We look forward to meeting with the SMDI leadership at the Texas State Fair Auto Show media event as well as having them attend the 2014 Texas Truck Rodeo!

    Here's the crux of the press release:

    SMDI is a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute that maintains and grows the use of steel in the automotive, construction, container and emerging markets.

    “Texans know and love their trucks. When they need a vehicle to keep up with their workload and lifestyle, advanced high-strength steel offers the perfect balance between weight and performance,” said Ronald Krupitzer, vice president, automotive applications for SMDI. “With recent anticipation surrounding the use of alternative material designs in the automotive industry, SMDI and its member companies look forward to partnering with the Texas Auto Writers Association and sharing their insight on why time-tested materials, like advanced steel, will help to ensure the durability, strength and safety of future vehicles.”

    Calling the partnership a "milestone," Michael Marrs, president of TAWA, said, “Steel is an integral part of the automotive industry; now that we are working with such a broad reaching group as SMDI that can provide timely information to our members on such an important aspect of the business, we have the opportunity to make our flagship event the best Truck Rodeo ever."

    TAWA's rodeo brings journalists from throughout Texas and the U.S. to the Texas Hill Country to evaluate the nation’s top trucks and SUVs. The writers recognize excellence in several categories, including selecting the year’s coveted “Truck of Texas.” The TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo will be held Oct. 8-10 at the Knibbe Ranch outside San Antonio.

    For more than two decades, TAWA has promoted professionalism and quality in automotive journalism. TAWA produces two annual events that have gained national traction: the Texas Truck Rodeo and the Texas Auto Roundup at Texas Motor Speedway. Both events give TAWA’s journalists the opportunity to evaluate vehicles back-to-back on the street, track or off-road. Manufacturers and dealerships promote the award winners and the “Truck of Texas” is touted in national television commercials, including appearing in previous Super Bowl commercials.
    Each year, TAWA awards scholarships to Texas college and university students with a journalism major. The nonprofit group’s annual Excellence in Craft Competition recognizes its members’ exceptional coverage of the automotive industry.

    SMDI partners with government entities, industry organizations, steel producers and processors, fabricators and customers to conduct research surrounding new steel technologies and market growth opportunities; provides technology transfer to bring the resulting innovations to the marketplace and promotes the benefits of steel solutions to customers.

    In the automotive industry, SMDI works to advance the use of steel, especially advanced high-strength steel, in the highly competitive automotive market through research, advocacy, and industry and government collaboration. SMDI’s automotive member companies include AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, ArcelorMittal USA, Nucor Corporation, Severstal North America and United States Steel Corporation.

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