Texas is facing a great pickup battle having Ford, Chevy, Dodge, and Toyota as contenders. Toyota Motor Corp., meanwhile, works to lure true truckers in Texas to win over more customers. This is why it has unleashed its redesigned Tundra to steal a portion of Ford F-150’s sales. But the best-selling pickup is not the only potent rival. There is the new Chevy Silverado and Dodge Ram. Moreover, the Japanese automaker is expected to exert extra effort in order for its goal to materialize.

According to J.D. Power and Associates, Ford F-Series dived nearly 3.6 percentage points across the nation to hold 30.7 percent of the market. In Texas, the models lost 5.5 points to fall to 31.9 percent, reported the Michigan-based R.L. Polk & Co. In comparison, the Tundra, sources divulged recorded nearly 3.5 points nationwide and 3.7 in Texas in its first year since a major redesign.

“Those numbers might not seem huge, but when you consider truck buyers are second only to luxury buyers in terms of loyalty, Ford’s drop and Toyota’s climb are significant,” said Lonnie Miller, the director of industry analysis at Polk. “There’s no doubt been a very aggressive push by Toyota.”

“We certainly had a lot more full-size pickups traded in for Tundras in ’07,” said Tom Shopoff, the director of truck support for Gulf States Toyota, a network of dealerships that includes statewide Tundra best-seller Fred Haas Toyota World in Spring. “We have a tremendous product.”

But Shopoff predicted the Tundra would see a bubble burst. “You’ve seen the big bubble,” he noted.

Increased competition from Toyota comes at a time when auto sales in general and pickup sales in particular, are down, according to Houston Chronicle. Auto sales in 2007 fell 2.4 percent, and large pickups were down 2.7 percent, Libby said in an interview.

“That means more competition, which in turn means more incentives and lower prices,” Libby concluded. “The winner in all this is the consumer.”


Dodge will introduce the 2008 Viper SRT10 ACR (American Club Racer) and expects to stir the crowd in the City of Angels. Dodge is also quite excited and has already released the details and technical specifications of the Viper SRT10 ACR ahead of its official debut in 2007 LA Auto Show.

According to Mike Accavitti, Director – Dodge Brand and SRT Marketing and Communications, Chrysler LLC: “With the all-new 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR, SRT has taken the ultimate American sports car and injected it with an extra dose of racing DNA. With the Viper SRT10 as the starting point, SRT engineered a combination of reduced weight, race-tuned suspension and aerodynamic improvements to create the ultimate Viper for the street and track.”

As expected in a Dodge Viper model, the all-new 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR comes with a bold and aggressive exterior styling plus sporty appearance. Five paint color schemes are available for the Viper SRT10 ACR including Viper Red, Viper Black, Viper Violet, Viper Bright Blue Metallic, and Viper Very Orange. This is highlighted by a signature two-tone paint scheme with a black center section. A Viper SRT10 monotone paint with body color rear wing and dual painted Viper stripes is also available.

 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR

The 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR also comes with other exterior components like “fanged” front splitter, adjustable rear wing sculpted by CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), high mounted rear spoiler, lightweight filler panels replacing the fog lamps, and lightweight forged aluminum Sidewinder wheels. The wheels are painted with gloss black to complete the overall exterior package. Inside, the Viper SRT10 ACR also features some interior features identical to the Viper SRT10 base model but the ACR model added new features like the optional “Hard Core” package that reduces the car’s weight by about 40 pounds.

Powering the all new 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR is a monstrous 8.4-liter aluminum V10 engine. This powerful unit can pump out a stunning 600 horsepower and pulls out 560 lb. ft. amount of peak torque. Features of this engine include deep-skirted V10 aluminum engine block, Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC shaped combustion chambers, Variable Valve Timing (VVT), and two-piece intake manifold. Unlike the Saab sports car models with Saab starter, the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR is equipped with platinum-tip spark plugs in the ignition system.

Dodge offers the latest Tremec T56 six-speed manual transmission (TR6060) with the GKN ViscoLok speed-sensing limited-slip differential to complete the powertrain package.

According to Dodge, the 2008 Viper SRT10 ACR will roll out in the U.S. market starting in the second quarter of 2008 carrying a base manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of less than $100,000 USD.

The Dodge Journey crossover vehicle that was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show was primarily destined for Europe but surprisingly it will first be offered in the US as early as next year as a 2009 model.

2009 Dodge Journey

Journey is heading to the United States but will not arrive until the scheduled Los Angeles Auto Show in November. And although it would look more like the Europe version its performance, engine, and fuel economy will not be the same due to the federal regulations implemented in the US.

The Journey for US will be available with a 3.5 liter V6 gas engine which Europe won’t get since the Europe version will get a more powerful Volkswagen-supplied diesel engine which is not allowed in America.

The Journey is built on a modified Dodge Avenger platform and hopefully will provide Chrysler with a bigger presence in the growing crossover market especially since sales on trucks have been sluggish due to slowdown in the construction market, not to mention the ever increasing gasoline prices.

With regards to size the Journey is in between the Nitro crossover and the full-size Durango SUV.