The 2013 Ram 1500 pickup won the coveted "Truck of Texas" award at the 20th annual Texas Auto Writers Association's Texas Truck Rodeo on Monday.
The award is highly sought after by automakers because Texas is the largest pickup market in the U.S. Some pickups are even designed with the tastes and preferences of Texas ranchers in mind.
"Texas is Ram's biggest market, and we've worked relentlessly to build powerful trucks with best-in-class fuel economy and capability for our customers," Fred Diaz, CEO of the Ram truck brand said in a statement. "The pickup market is fiercely competitive and we are proud the Texas Auto Writers have awarded Ram trucks with these coveted titles."
The 2013 Ram Laramie Longhorn model also was awarded "Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas" and full-size "Pickup Truck of Texas." The Jeep Grand Cherokee was named "Sport Utility Texas."
Production of the upgraded 2013 Ram 1500-- which has a new engine, transmission and an optional stop-start system -- began in September, giving Chrysler the newest pickup model on the road. The Ram 1500 lineup also has an updated front grille and an upgraded interior.
"You've got to love how tough, capable, comfortable and fuel efficient this new truck is, especially for Texans who frequently drive long distances," Michael Herzing, Texas Auto Writers Association president, said in a statement.
The event, held in San Antonio, is judged by 50 journalists over two days of on- and off-road vehicle evaluation.
Chrysler is hoping that the new pickup will help the Ram brand gain market share while Ford and Chevrolet are developing their next generation of pickups.
Ram's share of the U.S. full-size pickup market has increased from 14.6% in 2010 to 16.2% in 2011. Through September, Ram held a 18.4% share.
On Monday, General Motors said it will reveal its 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups on Dec. 13. The 2014 Silverado and Sierra are expected to hit showrooms sometime in 2013, but GM has not yet revealed specific timing. An all-new Ford F-150 is expected by 2015, according to Merrill Lynch analysts.
Ford also left Texas with several awards from the Texas Auto Writers Association. They are:
• Best heavy-duty pickup: 2013 Ford F-250 Super Duty
• Best off-road pickup: F-150 SVT Raptor
• Best compact SUV: Ford Escape
• Best midsize luxury SUV: Ford Explorer Sport
Courtesy of Detroit Free Press