Dodge United States of America

Dodge United States of America

Dodge U.S.

 

Established
1900; 117 years ago
Founder
John Francis Dodge, Horace Elgin Dodge

Headquarters
Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States

 

Dodge is an American brand of cars, minivans, sport cars, sedans, super cars, muscle cars, and sport utility vehicles manufactured by FCA US LLC.  FCA US LLC formerly known as Chrysler Group LLC, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The key people of the company Sergio Marchionne is the CEO of FCA US LLC and Timothy Kuniskis is the President and CEO of ncvDodge brand. The factory was located in Hamtramck, Michigan and was called the Dodge Main factory from 1910 until its closing in January 1980. The headquarter is situated in Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States.

Dodge Brothers Company machine shop was founded by brothers Horace Elgin Dodge and John Francis Dodge in the early 1900s, Dodge was originally a supplier of parts and assemblies for Detroit-based automakers and started manufacturing complete automobiles under the "Dodge Brothers" brand in 1914, predating the founding of Chrysler Corporation.

 

History

Founding and early years

After the founding of the Dodge Brothers Company by Horace Elgin Dodge and John Francis Dodge in 1900, the Detroit-based company quickly found work producing precision engine and chassis components for the city's growing number of automobile firms. Chief among these customers were the established Olds Motor Vehicle Company and the then-new Ford Motor Company. The first machine shop where the brothers worked together as parts suppliers for Olds and Ford was located at the Boydell Building on Beaubien Street at Lafayette in 1900. By 1910 the Dodge Main factory was built in Hamtramck, where it remained until 1979.

By 1914, John and Horace had built the new four-cylinder Dodge Model 30. Marketed as a slightly more upscale competitor to the ubiquitous Ford Model T, it pioneered or made standard many features later taken for granted: all-steel body construction. Dodge Brothers cars were ranked at second place for U.S. sales as early as 1916. That same year, Henry Ford chose to stop paying stock dividends to finance the construction of his new River Rouge complex.

 

Death of the Dodge brothers, Sale to Chrysler 

Dodge Brothers cars continued to rank second place in American sales in 1920. However, the same year, tragedy struck as John Dodge was felled by pneumonia in January. His brother Horace then died of cirrhosis in December of the same year. Afte the death of the Dodge Brothers Company passed into the hands of the brothers' widows, who promoted long-time employee Frederick Haynes to the company presidency. By 1925, the Dodge Brothers company was sold by the widows to the well-known investment group Dillon, Read & Co. for no less than US$146 million. Despite all this,  by 1927, Dodge Brothers' sales had already dropped to seventh place in the industry, and Dillon, Read began looking for someone to take over the company on a more permanent basis. Eventually Dodge was sold to Chrysler Corporation in 1928.

 

Pre-war years

To fit better in the Chrysler Corporation lineup, alongside low-priced Plymouth and medium-priced DeSoto, Dodge's lineup for early 1930 was trimmed down to a core group of two lines and thirteen models. As Plymouth cars were sold at Chrysler dealerships, Dodge branded vehicles were sold as a lower cost alternative to DeSoto. Dodge took another step up by adding a new eight-cylinder line to replace the existing Senior six-cylinder in 1930. This basic format of a dual line with Six and Eight models continued through 1933. The Dodge Eight was changed by a larger Dodge DeLuxe Six for 1934, which was dropped for 1935. A long-wheelbase edition of the remaining Six was added for 1936 and would remain a part of the lineup for many years.

 

Post-war years

Civilian production at Dodge was restarted by late 1945, in time for the 1946 model year. The "seller's market" of the early postwar years, brought on by the lack of any new cars throughout the war, meant that every automaker found it easy to sell vehicles regardless of any drawbacks they might have. Like almost every other automaker, Dodge sold lightly facelifted revisions of its 1942 design through the 1948 season. As before, these were a single series of six-cylinder models with two trim levels. From 1949 until 1954, Fluid Drive could be combined with "Gyro-Matic," a semi-automatic transmmission which reduced the need to shift gears. Dodge came into the compact car field for 1961 with their new Lancer, a variation on Plymouth's Valiant.

 

K-Cars and minivans

The first fruit of Chrysler's crash development program was the "K-Car", the Dodge version of which was the Dodge Aries. This basic and durable front-wheel drive platform spawned a whole range of new models at Dodge during the 1980s, including the groundbreaking Dodge Caravan. The Caravan not only helped save Chrysler as a serious high-volume American automaker, but also spawned an entirely new market segment that remains popular today: the minivan.

 

Logos

Star: The original Dodge was a circle, with two Greek deltas intertwined representing the letter "D", forming a six-pointed star in the middle; an interlocked "DB" was at the center of the star, and the words "Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicles" encircled the outside edge.

Crest: For 1941 Dodge introduced a crest, supposedly the Dodge family crest. The design had four horizontal bars broken in the middle by one vertical bar with an "O" in the center.

New logo: In 2010, with the separation of the Ram brand, two new Dodge logos were unveiled. The first logo features the word "DODGE" with two inclined stripes. It was originally used strictly for marketing purposes, however Dodge introduced the logo onto the grilles of the 2012 lineup.

In 2014, the cross logo was replaced by the word "DODGE" on the Durango steering wheel. A modified version of the Ram's head logo is still used for the Ram brand, with "RAM" written across the bottom in bold white or black lettering.

 

Dodge trucks

Over the years, Dodge has become at least as well known for its many truck models as for its prodigious passenger car output. In 2009, trucks were spun off into the separate Ram brand, named after the brand's most popular truck, the Dodge Ram.

 

Pickups and medium to heavy trucks

Ever since the beginning of its history in 1914, Dodge has presented light truck models. For the first few years, these were based largely on the existing passenger cars, but eventually gained their own chassis and body designs as the market matured. Light- and medium-duty models were offered first, then a heavy-duty range was added during the 1930s and 1940s. The Warren Truck Assembly location was opened in 1938, and Dodge trucks have been made there ever since. Dodge was among the first to introduce car-like features to its trucks, adding the plush Adventurer package during the 1960s and offering sedan-like space in its Club Cab bodies of the 1970s.

 

Vans

Like the trucks, though, Chrysler's dire financial straits of the late 1970s precluded any major updates for the vans for many years. Rebadged as the Ram Van and Ram Wagon for 1981, this venerable design carried on for 33 years with little more than cosmetic and safety updates all the way to 2003. Dodge also offered a cargo version of its best-selling Caravan for many years, at first calling it the Mini Ram Van and later dubbing it the Caravan C/V (for "Cargo Van"). However, for model year 2011, the Caravan C/V was rebranded as a Ram, called the Ram C/V.

 

 

Sport utility vehicles

Dodge's first experiments with anything like a sport utility vehicle appeared in the late 1950s with a windowed version of their standard panel-truck - known as the Town Wagon. These were manufactured in the same style through the mid-1960s. Instead, Dodge tried something new in 1997. Using the mid-sized Dakota pickup's chassis as a base, they produced the four-door Durango SUV with seating for eight people and created a new niche. Sized between smaller SUVs (like the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Explorer) and larger models (like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition), Durango was both a bit more and bit less of everything.

 

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