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The most important Rodeo on Wheels

nissan truck of texasEach fall for the past 25 years, The Texas Automotive Writers have held a Texas-style rodeo where dozens of vehicles compete for the most important awards in the truck industry. For the past five years, the event was held at the historic Knibbe Ranch near San Antonio.

The event was especially competitive this year with 88 vehicles available for 69 TAWA media members to test both on and off road. TAWA members evaluated the off-road vehicles while climbing rocks and crossing creeks, while the smoother drives on the road might include pulling trailers. The value of the vehicles driven was nearly 4 million dollars.

Imagine you are a truck lover. The truck rodeo would be like Disneyland for trucks. Not only are several models of various vehicles available to drive, there are many brand managers and engineers available to elaborate on what is new and the background on how different products were developed.

But trying to drive 88 vehicles in two days is a bit unrealistic. So everyone tries to entice you to experience their vehicle.titan truck

In some ways, Fred Diaz was the big winner.  Ram won Truck  of Texas for  two years breaking an eight-year for Ford as the Truck of Texas —at a time when Diaz was marketing director of the Ram  brand. Now he has lead his team to make the 2016 Nissan Titan XD the 2015 Truck of Texas  It marks  the first time for a Nissan truck to win the prestigious title.nissan titan from ok

Fred Diaz is Nissan  senior vice president Sales & Marketing and Operations USA Nissan North America.

Actually everyone was a winner. The journalists had the thrill of driving trucks—some of which are not even available in dealerships. Manufacturers had a chance to see what others in the market were doing and “competitive shop” their competitors.

The vehicles were mostly loaded with options and accessories. It seemed they were being presented in their holiday best. Teams of automotive  Tawa members and the manufacturers wore their Western wear and boots. Many had cowboy hats.

And everyone enjoyed the camaraderie and barbecue that is unique to Texas.

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