What are some key events in Dodge car history?


Quick Answer

The Dodge Motor Company was founded by brothers John and Horace Dodge in 1914, becoming the fourth largest automobile manufacturer by 1917. The company's fortunes began to decline after the death of both founders in 1920, leading to the company's sale to New York investment group Dillon, Read and Company in 1925 and Walter P. Chrysler in 1928. Chrysler integrated the Dodge division into his own company, which instantly grew to be the third largest automaker after the merger.

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Full Answer

Dodge continued to be an important brand under the Chrysler umbrella, earning a reputation for superior engineering during World War II and helping to invent the minivan with the Dodge Aries in 1980. By 1998, Dodge was the value brand and the performance leader in Chrysler's line-up. The division was hindered by its parent company, failing to adapt quickly enough to the oil crisis in 1973 and requiring a federal bailout in 2009.

The Dodge brothers worked for Henry Ford for 14 years before building their own cars, earning a reputation for quality vehicles before they produced any of their own. This "tough" reputation has become a defining characteristic of the brand. The first Dodge incorporated many features that did not become industry standard for decades, including an all-steel construction, 12-volt electrical system and sliding gear transmission.

Dodge produces automobiles, minivans, SUVs and trucks as of 2015, with operations in over 60 countries worldwide. Its vehicle line includes the Challenger, Dart, Viper, Durango and Grand Caravan. The division is also responsible for Ram trucks.

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