This week the Texas Auto Writers Association once again welcomes the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), which is a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, as a returning sponsor of its Texas Truck Rodeo. The Truck Rodeo, now in its 23rd year, brings together automotive media and manufacturers to evaluate all that’s new in trucks and SUVs. At the end of the 2-day evaluation winners in several – some would say ‘too many’ – categories are named, including Truck of Texas. This year’s Rodeo, which is not open to the public, will take place October 8th thru 10th at the Knibbe Ranch, just a day’s ride – if you’re on a cutting horse – north of San Antonio.
“We are thrilled to have SMDI return as title sponsor for this year’s Truck Rodeo,” said Michael Marrs, 3 -term president of TAWA. “Since steel is an integral part of the automotive industry, we are fortunate to have SMDI partner with us to keep our members updated on their industry. This year’s event is shaping up to be the best yet.”
Lawrence W. Kavanagh, president of SMDI (a business unit of AISI), noted that “Texans buy more trucks than residents of any other state in the U.S. They understand the need for a truck to provide the highest value. By sponsoring the Texas Truck Rodeo, SMDI and its members can share how advanced high-strength steel provides the value Texans look for.”
The title sponsorship by steel provides an interesting juxtaposition with the 2015 Truck of Texas, Ford’s aluminum-bodied F-150. When contacted for comment, Ford’s PR team, which will be entering its alloy-bodied F-Series once again in the Rodeo, had this to say: “We’re proud that the 2015 Ford F-150 is the TAWA Truck of Texas and look forward to this year’s TAWA Truck Rodeo.”
Reading between the lines, we think Ford is steeling for a fight…