The History of Dodge


The History of Dodge

When we think of classic American trucks, we think of Dodge. 

A brand that built the United States’ automotive industry, Dodge has a very special place in the world.

Origins

The Dodge Brothers Company was started in Detroit, Michigan in 1900 as a mechanic shop. Brothers Horace & John Dodge ran the shop, who were engine builders at Ford Motor Co., where they learned the skills which led to the formation of the iconic Dodge brand. 

The brothers soon expanded operations from repairs to parts & equipment supplies to car manufacturers. By 1914, the brothers started an auto assembling unit in Hamtramck, Michigan, under the name 'Dodge Main Factory'. 

The factory produced the world’s first complete-steel touring cars. By 1914, the brand had assembled and sold over 45,000 Dodge vehicles. This made the Dodge Main Factory the third biggest automobile company (at-the-time) in America in terms of sales figures. 

Soon after the Dodge brothers’ death in 1920, they sold the Dodge Main Factory to an investment banking firm Dillon, Read & Co., before they finally sold it to Chrysler in 1928 for $175 million. Using the expertise and resources left behind by the Dodge brothers, Chrysler started a line of commercial and family-use cars, which they marketed under the name of 'Dodge'.  

For years, the Dodge brand continued to rule the market. The brand developed the 8-cylinder V6 engine, one of the largest at-the-time. This made Dodge trucks some of the most powerful vehicles driven. This intensified Dodge’s branding as a high-performance name, and in the 1960s, the company saw itself as a major competitor in the NASCAR Muscle Car group. 

During this period, Dodge underwent many ownership changes. Up till today, the Dodge brand, owned by companies as diverse as Daimler-Benz AG, Cerberus Capital Management, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (a merger between Fiat S.p.A. and Chrysler). 

Each of these companies helped Dodge experiment with new technology and reach new frontiers. Over time, the Dodge line expanded to include many cars–compact cars, passenger cars, pickup trucks, and the iconic RAM trucks. Today, Dodge has become synonymous with reliable, high-quality, American cars. 

Join the Legacy 

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