Dodge Logo Dodge is an American brand of cars, minivans, and sport utility vehicles manufactured by FCA US LLC (formerly known as Chrysler Group LLC), based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Dodge vehicles currently include the lower-priced badge variants of Chrysler-badged vehicles as well as performance cars, though for much of its existence Dodge was Chrysler's mid-priced brand above Plymouth.
Founded as the Dodge Brothers Company machine shop 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 began building complete automobiles under the "Dodge Brothers" brand in 1914, predating the founding of Chrysler Corporation. The factory was located in Hamtramck, Michigan and was called the Dodge Main factory from 1910 until its closing in January 1980. The Dodge brothers both died in 1920, and the company was sold by their families to Dillon, Read & Co. in 1925 before being sold to Chrysler in 1928. Dodge vehicles mainly consisted of trucks and full-sized passenger cars through the 1970s, though it made memorable compact cars (such as the 1963-76 Dart) and midsize cars (such as the "B-Body" Coronet and Charger from 1962-79.
The 1973 oil crisis and its subsequent impact on the American automobile industry led Chrysler to develop the K platform of compact to midsize cars for the 1981 model year. The K platform and its derivatives are credited with reviving Chrysler's business in the 1980s; one such derivative became the Dodge Caravan.
The Dodge brand has withstood the multiple ownership changes at Chrysler from 1998 to 2009, including its short-lived merger with Daimler-Benz AG from 1998 to 2007, its subsequent sale to Cerberus Capital Management, its 2009 bailout by the United States government, and its subsequent Chapter 11 bankruptcy and acquisition by Fiat.
In 2011, Dodge, Ram, and Dodge's Viper were separated. Dodge said that the Dodge Viper would be an SRT product and Ram will be a manufacturer. In 2014, SRT was merged back into Dodge. Later that year, Chrysler Group was renamed FCA US LLC, corresponding with the merger of Fiat S.p.A. and Chrysler Group into the single corporate structure of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
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 built in the same style through the mid-1960s.
But the division didn't enter the SUV arena in earnest until 1974, with the purpose-built Ramcharger. Offering the then-popular open body style and Dodge's powerful V8 engines, the Ramcharger was a strong competitor for trucks like the Ford Bronco, Chevrolet Blazer and International Harvester Scout II.
Once again, though, Dodge was left with outdated products during the 1980s as the market evolved. The Ramcharger hung on through 1993 with only minor updates. When the Ram truck was redesigned for the 1994 model year, the Ramcharger was discontinued in the American and Canadian markets. A version using the updated styling was made for the Mexican Market but was never imported to the U.S. or Canada.
Instead, Dodge tried something new in 1997. Using the mid-sized Dakota pickup's chassis as a base, they built 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. The redesigned version for 2004 grew a little bit in every dimension, becoming a full-size SUV (and thus somewhat less efficient), but was still sized between most of its competitors on either side of the aisle. For 2011 a new unibody Durango based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee was released. The 2011 Durango shrank slightly to size comparable to the original model.
Dodge also imported a version of Mitsubishi's popular Montero (Pajero in Japan) as the Raider from 1987 to 1989.
Source : wikipedia