GM Pickups Join Texas Battle for Supremacy

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Bloomberg News

Almost every­body in Texas dri­ves a pickup, Mark Reuss, GM North Amer­i­cas pres­i­dent, dis­cov­ered while vis­it­ing the State Fair of Texas last week.

Find out more about what’s at stake as GM works on improv­ing its truck lines.

As Mark Reuss, Gen­eral Motors Co.’s North Amer­ica pres­i­dent, entered his first State Fair of Texas yes­ter­day, he could see what GM is up against in a cru­cial bat­tle­ground state for full-size pickup sales. [Read story on GM strug­gling to keep up with truck demand]

“Every­body dri­ves pick­ups and loves pick­ups here,” Reuss said in an inter­view at the fair in Dal­las, where GM revealed its new heavy-duty trucks. The reg­u­lar half-ton pick­ups, all-new this year, began arriv­ing in show­rooms in May. “It feels big­ger than life, and it is.”

GM, which hadn’t redesigned its pick­ups since 2006, has seen its Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado and GMC Sierra com­bined mar­ket share slip to 33 per­cent in the Texas half-ton truck mar­ket last year from 36 per­cent in 2008, accord­ing to researcher Polk. That puts it behind Ford’s F-Series, which is the national leader and top-seller in Texas last year with 38 per­cent of the state’s mar­ket. Reuss said GM can over­take Ford in Texas.

“We’ve got the newest truck in the mar­ket; it’s been a long time since Gen­eral Motors had the newest truck,” Reuss said. “The opin­ion and recog­ni­tion of the how good the truck is starts in Texas. If we can win here with a great truck, there are rip­ple effects here across the whole country.”

Texas is the largest mar­ket for new pick­ups in the U.S., rep­re­sent­ing one in five vehi­cles sold in the state last year, accord­ing to Polk. It’s about one in eight nation­ally. More large pick­ups were pur­chased in Texas last year than the total for the next three largest truck mar­kets: Cal­i­for­nia, Okla­homa and Florida.

“There’s more at stake in Texas in terms of vol­ume and oppor­tu­ni­ties,” said Jes­sica Cald­well, an ana­lyst with Edmunds.com, a Santa Mon­ica, California-based web­site that tracks auto sales. “It’s look­ing like it’s shap­ing up to be quite the bat­tle between the players.”

 

 

 

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