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Dodge

Dodge

United States of America United States of America (1914 - present)
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History


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History

The first years

The brothers Dodge

The brothers Dodge

© photo courtesy of: Dodge

Dodge, then known as the Dodge Brothers Company was founded in 1900 by brothers John and Horace Dodge in the U.S. city of Detroit. In the first year of existence, the company quickly found work with the production of engines and chassis components for the emerging automotive companies. Among the customers were the established Olds Motor Vehicle Company and newly created Ford Motor CompanyFordFordUnited States of America, 1903 > present92 models
2500 photos
11 videos
. Despite the great success the Dodge brothers began to dream with the complete production of vehicles.

In 1914 the first Dodge vehicle arrives, the Model 30, with a four-cylinder engine, a more exclusive model than the Model T FordModel TFord Model TUnited States of America, 1908 > 19205 versions
41 photos
2 videos
which pioneered the introduction of base of all-steel body, a 12V electrical system and a transmission sliding. Thanks to this model and its reputation for quality parts that the Dodge brothers reached the second in sales in early 1916.

The Dodge Brothers continued in second place in sales in the U.S. until 1920, the year that John and Horace died of pneumonia and cirrhosis, respectively. Left in the hands of the widows of the two brothers, Frederick Haynes was promoted to president of the company. The brand had at that point emerged as a leader in the production of light trucks, which was supplemented with an agreement to sell the trucks produced by Graham Brothers.

But due to the increasingly evident stagnant development in 1925 the brand was already only the fifth most sold in the United States. This led the widows of the Dodge brothers to sell the company to the investment group Dillon, Read & Co. for not less than $146 million, at the time the largest monetary transaction in history.

Until 1927, with the introduction of the Senior model, few changes had taken place in the brand that, at the end of 1926, came to be led by E.G. Wilmer. The old-line four-cylinder changed its name to Fast Four and would only be replaced by two six-cylinder models in 1928, the Standard and Victory.

During this remodeling the Dodge Brothers went down the list of best-selling brands, occupying seventh place in 1927. This would lead to Dillon, Read to start looking for a buyer for the company. In 1928 the Dodge Brothers was sold to Chrysler CorporationChryslerChryslerUnited States of America, 1925 > present70 models
873 photos
1 video
.

 

 

The pre-war years

In order to adjust to the dynamic range of the Chrysler Corporation, along with the PlymouthPlymouthPlymouthUnited States of America, 1928 > 200119 models
128 photos
and DeSotoDe SotoDe SotoUnited States of America, 1928 > 19608 models
21 photos
, Dodge saw in 1930 its range reduced to two lines and thirteen models. Prices were even above those of the DeSoto, but still lower than the Chrysler brand.

Virgil Exner

Virgil Exner

© photo courtesy of: Dodge

After two changes of image, in 1935 and 1939, Dodge would see her forced to stop production in 1942 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor base, with assembly lines starting to support the war production.

 

 

The postwar years

The civilian car production was resumed in late 1945 at Dodge. The brand used the 1942 model, with slight modifications until 1948. Despite never having been recognized by design, this situation would change with the arrival direction of the brand design in 1953 by Virgil Exner.

The introduction of the new corporate image "Forward Look" in 1955 marked a new era of Dodge. The brand continued to update the style of its range, added more powerful engines up to 1960 and found its market as the Americans discovered the wonders of travelling on the highway. Things improved when the Dodge brand launched a new line of models called DartDartDodge DartUnited States of America, 1960 > 19764 series
14 versions
6 photos
to compete directly with Ford, ChevroletChevroletChevroletUnited States of America, 1911 > present82 models
3562 photos
7 videos
and Plymouth.

Dodge LaFemme, 1955

Dodge LaFemme, 1955

© photo courtesy of: Dodge

 

 

In 1962, Chrysler decided to reduce the size of the large ranges of Dodge and Plymouth, but the move resulted in lost of sales. Chrysler would change things in 1965, transforming the old full-size models into "new" mid-size models, reviving the CoronetCoronetDodge CoronetUnited States of America, 1949 > 19767 series
34 versions
10 photos
model and adding a sporty fastback version called ChargerChargerDodge ChargerUnited States of America, 1966 > 19875 series
34 versions
14 photos
, a model that would become a sales leader.

Known today as a major player in the muscle car market of the late 1960s and early 1970,s Dodge released at that time very popular models like the Coronet R/TArnageBentley ArnageUnited Kingdom, 1998 > present1 photo
and the Super Bee. But the highlight of this period would be the launch of the ChallengerChallengerDodge ChallengerUnited States of America, 1970 > 19833 series
35 versions
102 photos
sports coupe and convertible in 1970.

 

 

 

Dodge Challenger, 1970

Dodge Challenger, 1970

© photo courtesy of: Dodge

The Oil Crisis

When the oil crisis of 1973 has befallen the United States changed everything in the Dodge. With the exception of the Colt and certain models of the Dart range, the portfolio of Dodge had to be reduced. Without a clear strategy in Chrysler, and consequently, Dodge, live financial problems until in 1979 the new Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca, requested and received federal loan guarantees by the U.S. Congress. This was an effort to prevent the company declared bankruptcy.

 

K-Cars and minivans

After the period of crisis Chrysler returned thanks to the development of the K-Car, a basic and durable front-wheel drive platform, which gave birth to a new range of Dodge models during the 80s. One of these models was the CaravanCaravanDodge CaravanUnited States of America, 1984 > present5 series
18 versions
22 photos
, which in addition to saving Chrysler as a major U.S. automaker, created an entirely new market segment: the minivan.

Other releases included the DaytonaDaytonaDodge DaytonaUnited States of America, 1983 > 199311 versions
1 photo
, the 600, several versions of the LancerLancerDodge LancerUnited States of America, 1962 > 19621 photo
, the SpiritSpirit R/T TurboDodge Spirit R/T TurboUnited States of America, 1991 > present1 photo
sedan, the ViperViperDodge ViperUnited States of America, 1989 > 20064 series
15 versions
42 photos
roadster, and the IntrepidIntrepidDodge IntrepidUnited States of America, 1993 > 20042 series
10 versions
10 photos
. At this point Dodge entered a new era that would be marketed as "The New Dodge".

 

Dodge Charger SRT8

Dodge Charger SRT8

© photo courtesy of: Dodge

 

The modern era

In 1998, DaimlerChrysler was created in a bid that never managed to exceed expectations. In a move to rationalize the product range of Chrysler, Plymouth was closed and Dodge became the most affordable division, but also the high-performance models division of DaimlerChrysler.

2007 marked the end of DaimlerChrysler with an agreement being reached with Cerberus Capital Management to put aside the Chrysler Group subsidiary. In June 2009, Chrysler would see a new dawn thanks to the partnership with the Italian group FiatFiatFiatItaly, 1899 > present158 models
4849 photos
35 videos
. Dodge continues to be part of the formed Chrysler Group LLC.



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