Dodge has been one of the few car companies that’s been successful from the start and continues to be one of the most popular automobile manufacturers today.
History of Dodge
The Dodge brothers, Horace and John, actually started their business ventures by opening a bicycle shop in 1897. Three years later in 1890, they opened a machine shop in Detroit and started producing parts like engines, axles, and transmissions that they sold to other automakers. Henry Ford and Ransom Olds both enlisted the brothers’ help in making machines for their Ford and Oldsmobile vehicles.
After 13 years in the machine-making business, the Dodge brothers decided to begin their own automobile company and founded the Dodge Brothers Motor Company in 1913. They introduced their first car in 1914 and sold nearly 250 vehicles their first year. The next year sales skyrocketed to 45,000 vehicles.
Just 6 years later in 1920, both Horace and John died unexpectedly – Horace from complications with pneumonia and John from cirrhosis. Their wives inherited the company but couldn’t handle running it themselves. They sold the company to a prominent investment bank (Dillion, Read & Co.) for $146 million in 1925.
The company was purchased by Walter Chrysler for $170 million and merged with Chrysler Corporation in May 1928. According to history.com, “The purchase made Chrysler the world’s third-largest automaker overnight.”
Dodge has had through some major financial struggles including the 1973 oil crisis and 2008 economic crisis. It was also a part of the big government bailout in 2008 called the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Dodge also went through several changes in ownership with Chrysler including a brief merger with Daimler-Benz AG in 1998, Cerebrus Capital in 2007, and Fiat in 2009. In 2011, Dodge Ram and Dodge Viper were separated from the company, but still owned by Fiat (renamed FCA US LLC in 2014). Ram became its own manufacturer, spinning off of the very popular Dodge Ram model. Viper briefly became a part of the SRT (Street & Racing Technology) group, but merged back with Dodge in 2014.
Dodge’s Newest Models
Dodge released 7 different vehicles for 2016, including the Charger, Challenger, Dart, Viper, Journey, Durango, and Grand Caravan. The company continues to stay competitive within the market with sales up 12% overall this year.
The Challenger, Dodge’s muscle car, and the Journey, Dodge’s crossover, sold a record amount in February 2016. In addition, the Charger is one of Dodge’s most popular vehicles. The 2016 Charger SRT Hellcat is loaded with a 6.2L Hemi® SRT Hellcat V8 engine capable of 707 horsepower.
Since its introduction in 1990, the Grand Caravan remains one of Dodge’s best selling vehicles to date. The 2016 Grand Caravan features include a 3.6L Pentastar® V6 engine, 143 cubic feet of cargo space, and 25 highway mpgs.
Check out these vehicles and our selection of new and used cars, SUVs, and minivans in our online inventory. Then come by our Sedalia dealership to test drive your next great ride!