|Founded||1900 (as Dodge Brothers Company)|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
|Worldwide (except Western Europe and Hong Kong)|
|Products||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans/minivans|
|Owner||Dodge Brothers Company (1910–1924)|
Dillon, Read & Co. (1925–1927)
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (2014–present)
|Parent||FCA US LLC|
Dodge is an American brand of automobile manufactured by FCA US LLC (formerly known as Chrysler Group LLC), based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Dodge vehicles currently include performance cars, though for much of its existence Dodge was Chrysler's mid-priced brand above Plymouth.
Chrysler is one of the "Big Three" automobile manufacturers in the United States, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The original Chrysler Corporation was founded in 1925 by Walter Chrysler from the remains of the Maxwell Motor Company. In 1998, it was acquired by Daimler-Benz, and the holding company was renamed DaimlerChrysler. After Daimler divested Chrysler in 2007, the company existed as Chrysler LLC (2007–2009) and Chrysler Group LLC (2009–2014) before merging in 2014 with Fiat S.p.A. and becoming a subsidiary of its successor Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In addition to the Chrysler brand, FCA sells vehicles worldwide under the Dodge, Jeep, and Ram nameplates. Furthermore, the subsidiary includes Mopar, its automotive parts and accessories division, and SRT, its performance automobile division.
Auburn Hills is a city in Oakland County, in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 21,412 at the 2010 census. It is home to the U.S. headquarters of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, The Palace of Auburn Hills, and Oakland University.
Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.
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).
Horace Elgin Dodge Sr. was an American automobile manufacturing pioneer and co-founder of Dodge Brothers Company.
John Francis Dodge was an American automobile manufacturing pioneer and co-founder of Dodge Brothers Company.
Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.
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 1973 oil crisis began in October 1973 when the members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo. The embargo was targeted at nations perceived as supporting Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The initial nations targeted were Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States with the embargo also later extended to Portugal, Rhodesia and South Africa. By the end of the embargo in March 1974, the price of oil had risen from US$3 per barrel to nearly $12 globally; US prices were significantly higher. The embargo caused an oil crisis, or "shock", with many short- and long-term effects on global politics and the global economy. It was later called the "first oil shock", followed by the 1979 oil crisis, termed the "second oil shock."
The K-car platform was a key automotive design platform introduced by Chrysler Corporation in the early 1980s—featuring a transverse engine, front-wheel drive, independent front and semi-independent rear suspension configuration—a stark departure from the company's previous reliance on solid axle, rear-drive configurations. Derived from Chrysler's L-cars, the Plymouth Horizon and Dodge Omni, the platform was developed just as the company faltered in the market, at first underpinning a modest range of compact/mid-size sedans and wagons—and eventually underpinning nearly fifty different models, including all-wheel drive variants—and playing a vital role in the company's subsequent resurgence.
The Dodge Caravan is a minivan manufactured and marketed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and marketed under the Dodge brand. Introduced for the 1984 model year, it is the longest-used nameplate currently in use by Chrysler. Introduced as the Dodge version of the Chrysler minivans alongside the Plymouth Voyager, the Dodge Caravan is currently in its fifth generation of production.
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.
Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. is an American private equity firm, specializing in "distressed investing". The firm is based in New York City, and run by Steve Feinberg, who co-founded Cerberus in 1992 with William L. Richter, who currently serves as a senior managing director. The firm has affiliate and/or advisory offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Chrysler LLC and twenty-four of its affiliated subsidiaries filed a consolidated petition for bankruptcy on April 30, 2009, with the federal bankruptcy court in New York. The court filing occurred upon failure of the company to come to agreement with its creditors for an outside-of-bankruptcy restructuring plan, by the April 30 deadline mandated by the federal government.
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.
Ram Trucks, stylized as RAM and formally known as the Ram Truck Division, is an American brand of light to mid-weight commercial vehicles established in 2010 as a division of FCA US LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Italian-American corporation Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It was spun-off from Dodge marque, using the name of the Ram Pickup line of trucks. Ram Trucks' logo was originally used as Dodge's logo.
The Dodge Viper is a sports car manufactured by Dodge, a division of American car manufacturer FCA US LLC from 1991 through 2017, having taken a brief hiatus from 2010–2013. Production of the two-seat sports car began at New Mack Assembly Plant in 1991 and moved to Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in October 1995.
Street & Racing Technology is a high-performance automobile group within Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. SRT began as "Team Viper" to develop the Dodge Viper. It later merged with "Team Prowler", the developers of the Plymouth Prowler, to become Specialty Vehicle Engineering (SVE). This was renamed Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO) in January 2002. Since all PVO vehicles used the SRT name, the PVO development group was renamed SRT in 2004. SRT heavily tunes and produces vehicles for the Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep brands.
Horace and John Dodge founded the Dodge Brothers Company in Detroit in 1900, and quickly found work manufacturing precision engine and chassis components for the city's growing number of automobile firms. Chief among these customers were the established Olds Motor Vehicle Company and the new Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford selected the Dodge brothers to supply a wide range of components for his original Model A (1903–04) that included the complete chassis; thus Ford needed to add only the body and wheels to finish the cars.
A chassis is the framework of an artificial object, which supports the object in its construction and use. An example of a chassis is a vehicle frame, the underpart of a motor vehicle, on which the body is mounted; if the running gear such as wheels and transmission, and sometimes even the driver's seat, are included, then the assembly is described as a rolling chassis.
Ford Motor Company is a multinational automaker that has its main headquarter in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. Ford also owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer Troller, an 8% stake in Aston Martin of the United Kingdom and a 32% stake in Jiangling Motors. It also has joint-ventures in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Russia. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family; they have minority ownership but the majority of the voting power.
The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by Ford, beginning production in 1903. Ernest Pfennig, a Chicago dentist, became the first owner of a Model A on July 23, 1903; 1,750 cars were made from 1903 through 1904 during Ford's occupancy of its first facility: the Ford Mack Avenue Plant, a modest rented wood-frame building on Detroit's East Side. The Model A was replaced by the Ford Model C during 1904 with some sales overlap.
The first machine shop where the brothers worked as parts suppliers for Olds and Ford was located at the Boydell Building on Beaubien Street at Lafayette. This location was replaced by a larger facility at Hastings Street and Monroe Avenue, which is now a parking garage for the Greektown Casino Hotel (Hastings Street at this location has been renamed Chrysler Service Drive).By 1910 the Dodge Main factory was built in Hamtramck, where it remained until 1979.
The Dodge Brothers Motor Company was established in 1913 and by 1914, John and Horace designed and debuted the first car of their own – the four-cylinder Dodge Model 30/35 touring car.Marketed as a slightly more upscale competitor to the ubiquitous Ford Model T, it pioneered or made standard many features later taken for granted like all-steel body construction as the vast majority of cars worldwide still used wood-framing under steel panels); 12-volt electrical system (6-volt systems would remain the norm until the 1950s); 35 horsepower engines versus the Model T's 20 horsepower, and sliding-gear transmission (the best-selling Model T would retain an antiquated planetary design until its demise in 1927). Once the Dodge brothers produced their own car, John Dodge was once quoted as saying, "Someday, people who own a Ford are going to want an automobile". As a result of this, and the brothers' well-earned reputation for the highest quality truck, transmission and motor parts they made for other successful vehicles, Dodge Brothers cars were ranked at second place for U.S. sales as early as 1916.
That same year, Henry Ford decided to stop paying stock dividends to finance the construction of his new River Rouge complex, and the Dodges filed a suit to protect their annual stock earnings of approximately one million dollars, million.leading Ford to buy out his shareholders; the Dodges were paid some US$25
Also in 1916, the Dodge Brothers vehicles won acclaim for their durability in military service. First with the U.S. Army's Pancho Villa Expedition, during the 1910s U.S. Mexico Border War — the U.S. military's first operation to use truck convoys.
One notable instance was in May when the 6th Infantry received a reported sighting of Julio Cárdenas, one of Villa's most trusted subordinates. Lt. George S. Patton led ten soldiers and two civilian guides in three Dodge Model 30 touring cars to conduct America's first motorised military raid at a ranch house in San Miguelito, Sonora. During the ensuing firefight the party killed three men, of whom one was identified as Cárdenas. Patton's men tied the bodies to the hoods of the Dodges, returning to headquarters in Dublán and an excited reception from US newspapermen.
Subsequently, some 12,800 Dodge cars and light trucks were used in World War I— over 8,000 touring cars, as well as 2,600 commercial vehicles, such as screen-side trucks and panel vans — serving primarily as ambulances and repair trucks.
Dodge remained the United States military's primary supplier of light wheeled vehicles, until the U.S. joined the Second World War.
Dodge Brothers cars continued to rank second place in American sales in 1920. However, the same year, tragedy struck as John Dodge was felled by pneumonia in January.His brother Horace then died of cirrhosis in December of the same year (reportedly out of grief at the loss of his brother, to whom he was very close). With the loss of both founders, the Dodge Brothers Company passed into the hands of the brothers' widows, who promoted long-time employee Frederick Haynes to the company presidency. During this time, the Model 30 was evolved to become the new Series 116 (though it retained the same basic construction and engineering features). However, throughout the 1920s Dodge gradually lost its ranking as the third best-selling automobile manufacturer, slipping down to seventh in the U.S. market.
Dodge Brothers emerged as a leading builder of light trucks. They also entered into an agreement whereby they marketed trucks built by Graham Brothers of Evansville, Indiana. The three Graham brothers would later produce Graham-Paige and Graham automobiles.
Stagnation in development was becoming apparent, however, and the public responded by dropping Dodge Brothers to fifth place in the industry by 1925. That year, the Dodge Brothers company was sold by the widows to the well-known investment group Dillon, Read & Co. for no less than US$146 million (at the time, the largest cash transaction in history).
Dillon, Read & Co. offered non-voting stock on the market in the new Dodge Brothers, Inc., firm, and along with the sale of bonds was able to raise $160 million, reaping a $14 million (net) profit. All voting stock was retained by Dillon, Read. Frederick Haynes remained as company head until E.G. Wilmer was named board chairman in November, 1926. Wilmer was a banker with no auto experience and Haynes remained as president. Changes to the car, save for superficial things like trim levels and colors, remained minimal until 1927, when the new Senior six-cylinder line was introduced. The former four-cylinder line was kept on, but renamed the Fast Four line until it was dropped in favor of two lighter six-cylinder models (the Standard Six and Victory Six) for 1928.
On October 1, 1925, Dodge Brothers, Inc., acquired a 51% interest in Graham Brothers, Inc., for $13 million and the remaining 49% on May 1, 1926. The three Graham brothers, Robert, Joseph and Ray, assumed management positions in Dodge Brothers before departing early in 1927.
Despite all this, Dodge Brothers' sales had already dropped to seventh place in the industry by 1927, and Dillon, Read began looking for someone to take over the company on a more permanent basis. Eventually Dodge was sold to the new Chrysler Corporation in 1928.
To fit better in the Chrysler Corporation lineup, alongside low-priced Plymouth and medium-priced DeSoto, Dodge's lineup for early 1930 was trimmed down to a core group of two lines and thirteen models (from three lines and nineteen models just over a year previous). Prices started out just above DeSoto but were somewhat less than top-of-the-line Chrysler, in a small-scale recreation of General Motors' "step-up" marketing concept. (DeSoto and Dodge would swap places in the market for the 1933 model year, Dodge dropping down between Plymouth and DeSoto.) As Plymouth cars were sold at Chrysler dealerships, Dodge branded vehicles were sold as a lower cost alternative to DeSoto.
For 1930, Dodge took another step up by adding a new eight-cylinder line to replace the existing Senior six-cylinder. This basic format of a dual line with Six and Eight models continued through 1933, and the cars were gradually streamlined and lengthened in step with prevailing trends of the day. The Dodge Eight was replaced by a larger Dodge DeLuxe Six for 1934, which was dropped for 1935. A long-wheelbase edition of the remaining Six was added for 1936 and would remain a part of the lineup for many years. To enhance production, in 1932 Chrysler built a factory in Los Angeles, California where Chrysler, DeSoto, Dodge and Plymouth vehicles were built until the factory closed in 1971.
The Dodge line, along with most of the corporation's output, was restyled in the so-called "Wind Stream" look for 1935. This was a mild form of streamlining, which saw sales jump remarkably over the previous year (even though Dodge as a whole still dropped to fifth place for the year after two years of holding down fourth). Dodge never got the radical Airflow styling that was the cause of depressed sales of Chryslers and DeSotos from 1934 to 1937, as a passenger sedan, but it was used on commercial truck for a short time. Dodge (along with the rest of Chrysler) added safety features such as a smooth, flat dashboard with no protruding knobs, curved in door handles, and padded front-seat backs for the benefit of the rear-seat occupants.
Another major restyle arrived for the 25th-anniversary 1939 models, which Dodge dubbed the Luxury Liner series. These were once again completely redesigned, with new bodies for 1940, again in 1941, and a refreshing for 1942. However, just after the 1942 models were introduced, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor forced the shutdown of Dodge's passenger car assembly lines in favor of war production in February 1942. 1941 saw the introduction of Fluid Drive for Dodge cars, which eliminated stalling or bucking if the clutch were released too quickly. This feature put a fluid coupling in between the engine and the clutch, although the driver still had to shift gears manually.
Chrysler was prolific in its production of war materiel, especially from 1942 to 1945. Dodge in particular was well known to both average citizens and thankful soldiers for their tough military-spec light trucks and WC54 ambulances. Dodge America – on paper under the Fargo Trucks name (in U.S. government contracts)– built over 400,000 trucks for the war, in its nearly new (1938) Warren truck plant at Mound Road, near Detroit, Michigan. Starting with the quickly converted VC and VF-series of 1940, Dodge built mostly light 4x4, but also light-medium 6x6 WC-series trucks, that evolved out of the VC-series. Smaller numbers of other models were built for China and Russia under Lend-Lease. Additionally, Chrysler Canada was enlisted to crank out another 180,000 Dodge trucks for the British and the Commonwealth militaries, over three quarters of which were 3-ton trucks to be used in the CMP role.
Dodge readily built upon the reputation of the WC-series for itself, by carrying it over into civilian models after the war, beginning with the successful Power Wagon, introduced with minimal modification almost immediately after the war, in 1945, for the 1946 model year.
Civilian production at Dodge was restarted by late 1945, in time for the 1946 model year. The "seller's market" of the early postwar years, brought on by the lack of any new cars throughout the war, meant that every automaker found it easy to sell vehicles regardless of any drawbacks they might have. Like almost every other automaker, Dodge sold lightly facelifted revisions of its 1942 design through the 1948 season. As before, these were a single series of six-cylinder models with two trim levels (basic Deluxe or plusher Custom). From 1949 until 1954, Fluid Drive could be combined with "Gyro-Matic," a semi-automatic transmission which reduced (but did not eliminate) the need to shift gears.
Styling was not initially Dodge's strong point during this period, though that began to change by 1953 under the direction of corporate design chief Virgil Exner. At the same time, Dodge also introduced its first V8 engine – the Red Ram Hemi, a smaller version of the original design of the famed Hemi. The new 1953 bodies were smaller and based on the Plymouth. For 1954, sales dropped, the stubby styling not going over well with the public. 1954 also saw the introduction of the fully automatic PowerFlite transmission.
Chrysler borrowed $250 million from Prudential in 1954 to finance expansion, acquisition, and updating the outdated styling of their car lines that was contributed to Chrysler failing to benefit from the postwar boom as GM and Ford were.
Exner led creation of the new corporate "Forward Look" styling of 1955, beginning a new era for Dodge. With steadily upgraded styling and ever-stronger engines every year through 1960, Dodge found a ready market for its products as America discovered the joys of freeway travel. This situation improved when Dodge introduced a new line of Dodges called the Dart to do battle against Ford, Chevrolet and Plymouth. The result was that Dodge sales in the middle price class collapsed. Special and regional models were sold as well, including the LaFemme (a white and orchid-trimmed hardtop marketed toward women) and the Texan, a gold-accented Dodge sold in the Lone Star State. 1957 saw the introduction of a new automatic transmission, three-speed TorqueFlite. Both PowerFlite and TorqueFlite were controlled by mechanical push-buttons until 1965.
Dodge entered the compact car field for 1961 with their new Lancer, a variation on Plymouth's Valiant. Though it was not initially successful, the Dart range that succeeded the Lancer in 1963 would prove to be one of the division's top sellers for many years.
Chrysler did make an ill-advised move to downsize the Dodge and Plymouth full-size lines for 1962, which resulted in a loss of sales. However, they turned this around in 1965 by turning those former full-sizes into "new" mid-size models; Dodge revived the Coronet nameplate in this way and later added a sporty fastback version called the Charger that became both a sales leader and a winner on the NASCAR circuit. Not only did this style dominate the racetrack for 4 full years, its aerodynamic improvements forever changed the face of NASCAR racing.
Full-size models evolved gradually during this time. After Dodge dealers complained about not having a true full-size car in the fall of 1961, the Custom 880 was hurried into production. The Custom 880 used the 1962 Chrysler Newport body with the 1961 Dodge front end and interior. The 880 continued into 1965, the year a completely new full-size body was put into production, the Polara entered the medium price class and the Monaco was added as the top series. The Polara and Monaco were changed mostly in appearance for the next ten years or so. Unique "fuselage" styling was employed for 1969 through 1973 and then was toned down again for the 1974 to 1977 models.
Dodge targeted the muscle car market of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Along with the Charger, models like the Coronet R/T and Super Bee were popular with buyers seeking performance. The pinnacle of this effort was the introduction of the Challenger sports coupe and convertible (Dodge's entry into the "pony car" class ) in 1970, which offered everything from mild economy engines up to the race-ready Hemi V8 in the same package.
In an effort to reach every segment of the market, Dodge even reached a hand across the Pacific to its partner, Mitsubishi Motors, and marketed their subcompact as the Colt to compete with the AMC Gremlin, Chevrolet Vega, and Ford Pinto. Chrysler would over the years come to rely heavily on their relationship with Mitsubishi. At the same time, Dodge got a version of the Plymouth Duster, marketed as the Dodge Demon. It was inexpensive, but with its slant-six engine (or V8), the Demon could not achieve the fuel economy of the four-cylinder Colt. The Demon sold in much fewer numbers than the Duster, so it is considered more collectible today, especially the V8 versions.
The 1973 oil crisis caused significant changes at Dodge, as well as Chrysler as a whole. Except for the Colt and Slant Six models of the Dart, Dodge's lineup was quickly seen as extremely inefficient. In fairness, this was true of most American automakers at the time, but Chrysler was also not in the best financial shape to do anything about it. Consequently, while General Motors and Ford were quick to begin downsizing their largest cars, Chrysler (and Dodge) moved more slowly out of necessity.
At the very least, Chrysler was able to use some of its other resources. Borrowing the recently introduced Chrysler Horizon from their European division, Dodge was able to get its new Omni subcompact on the market fairly quickly. At the same time, they increased the number of models imported from Japanese partner Mitsubishi starting in 1971: first came a smaller Colt (based on Mitsubishi's Galant line), then a revival of the Challenger (Dodge Challenger) in 1976 as a compact hardtop coupe with nothing more than a four-cylinder under the hood, rather than the booming V8s of yore.
The 1975 model year had the Dodge Charger and Chrysler Cordoba share the same new body based on the B platform. The Chrysler Cordoba had replaced the Plymouth Satellite Sebring. The Charger SE (Special Edition) was the only model offered. It came with a wide variety engines from the 318 cu in (5.2 L) "LA" series small block V8 to three versions of 400 cu in (6.6 L) big block V8. The standard engine was the 360 cu in (5.9 L) 2-bbl small block, along with the code E58 4-bbl and dual exhaust high performance version (225 hp) being available as an option . Sales in 1975 amounted to 30,812. Because of the extreme squareness of the bodystyle, NASCAR teams were forced to rely on the previous year's (1974) sheetmetal for race-spec cars. In order for Dodge to be represented, NASCAR allowed the 1974 sheetmetal to be used until January 1978, when the new Dodge Magnum was ready for race use.
1976 was the Dart's final year in the North American market. The rear-view mirror was mounted on the windshield rather than from the roof. Front disc brakes became standard equipment on 1 January 1976 in accord with more stringent U.S. federal brake performance requirements, and a new foot-operated parking brake replaced the under-dash T-handle used since the Dart's 1963 introduction as a compact car. The grille's parking lamps were cast in amber, whereas the previous years had clear lenses with amber-colored bulbs.The Dart Sport 360 was dropped as a separate model in 1976, but the 360 cu in (5.9 L) four-barrel, dual exhaust (without catalytic converters) V8 was a $376 option (except in California) for the $3,370 Dart Sport V8 models with automatic transmission. Car & Driver magazine tested the Dart Sport 360 in the April 1976 issue, pitting it against the Chevrolet Corvette and Pontiac Trans Am, and found its top speed of 121.6 mph (195.7 km/h) to be second to the Corvette's 124.5 mph (200.4 km/h).
1976 was the final model year for the Dodge Coronet, at least so far as the name Coronet went, also its body style choices were relegated to just only two four-door models, the four-door wagon and the four-door sedan. The former Dodge Coronet 2-door model, which appeared for just the previous model year only was replaced by the Dodge Charger Sport 2-door model, which, itself, appeared for only one model year. During the next model year (1977), the mid-size Dodge Coronet would be renamed Monaco, which would be given stacked rectangular headlights and other minor cosmetic changes, that would provide a prompt sales boost. The Coronet and Charger were effectively replaced by the Diplomat for 1977, which was actually a fancier Aspen.
Also, during that same model year, the full-size Dodge Monaco would be renamed Dodge Royal Monaco, which would appear for just one model year only and after that, both Dodge and Plymouth (which would include Dodge Royal Monaco's entire Plymouth Gran Fury counterpart line up as well) would discontinue all production of any more full-size models. It lost sales every year, until finally being replaced by the St. Regis for 1979 following a one-year absence from the big car market. In a reversal of what happened for 1965, the St. Regis was an upsized Coronet. During the following model year (1978), the mid-size Dodge Monaco (which would include its entire Plymouth Fury counterpart line up as well) would make its final appearance (for all during the remainder of the 1970s).
While the Aspen got accolades for styling and handling, build quality was problematic, sullying the car's reputation at the time when sales were desperately needed. It was noted for having problems with its carburetors which resulted in frequent stalling.[ citation needed ] The Aspen also had difficulty in starting, even after leaving the engine off for several minutes.[ citation needed ] This resulted in several recalls.
The Dodge Magnum was introduced for 1978 to supplement the Dodge Charger. It was sold in two forms, the "XE" and the "GT" and was the last vehicle to use the long running Chrysler B platform. The appearance was somewhat of a rounded off Charger, and was in response to getting a car that would be eligible for NASCAR that would be more aerodynamic, something that the 1975–1978 Charger was not. Styling features included four rectangular headlights behind retractable clear covers, with narrow opera windows, and an optional T-bar or power sunroof. The Magnum was well-featured with power steering, brakes and seats; the suspension included Chrysler's standard adjustable, longitudinal torsion bars, lower trailing links, and front and rear anti-sway bars. The base engine was the 318 cu in (5.2 L) V8 with Lean-Burn, while two and four-barrel carbureted 360 cu in (5.9 L) and 400 cu in (6.6 L) V8s were optional; weight was nearly 3,900 lb (1,800 kg).
Everything came to a head in 1979 when Chrysler's new chairman, Lee Iacocca, requested and received federal loan guarantees from the United States Congress in an effort to save the company from having to file bankruptcy. With a Federal Loan in hand, Chrysler quickly set to work on new models that would leave the past behind, while reorganizing to pay the government loan which stood at 29%.
The Dodge Mirada was a mid-sized, rear-wheel drive coupe manufactured and marketed by Dodge for model years 1980 to 1983 sharing the Chrysler J platform along with its badge engineered variants, the second generation Chrysler Cordoba and the Imperial. Production of the Mirada reached just under 53,000 units, staying relatively unchanged during its 4-year run, with the exception of paint colors and engines. The Mirada was marketed as a sporty personal luxury car with limited advertising and marketing during a period when Chrysler was in deep financial difficulty.
The first fruit of Chrysler's crash development program was the "K-Car", the Dodge version of which was the Dodge Aries. This basic and durable front-wheel drive platform spawned a whole range of new models at Dodge during the 1980s, including the groundbreaking Dodge Caravan. Lee Iacocca and Hal Sperlich had conceived their idea for this type of vehicle during their earlier tenure at Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford II rejected the idea (and a prototype) of a minivan in 1974. Iaccoca followed Sperlich to Chrysler, and together they created what was internally designated the T-115 minivan – a prototype that was to become the Caravan and Voyager, known in initial marketing as the Magic-wagons.Chrysler introduced the Dodge Caravan and the Plymouth Voyager in November 1983 for the 1984 model year, using the Chrysler S platform, an extended derivative of the Chrysler K platform. The Caravan not only helped save Chrysler as a serious high-volume American automaker, but also spawned an entirely new market segment that supplanted the role of the station wagon: the minivan.
By 1981, Chrysler was switching to smaller front-wheel drive designs. However, its older and larger rear-wheel drive Dodge Diplomat (as well as the Chrysler LeBaron and Fifth Avenue) continued to sell. Chrysler's then executive vice president for manufacturing, Steve Sharf, met with officials at American Motors (AMC) to use the extra capacity at an assembly plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin to build the cars.Chrysler's tooling was moved from St. Louis to Kenosha, and from 1987 until 1989 about 250,000 Chrysler and Dodge models were built by AMC at a lower cost than Chrysler could. This relationship evolved into Chrysler's purchase of AMC in 1987. Following the demise of the Dodge St. Regis R-body in 1981, the Diplomat remained, becoming the largest sedan in the Dodge lineup, despite technically being a mid-size car. Dodge would not market another truly full-size car (at least based upon United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passenger volume statistics) until the Monaco debuted as a 1990 model.
As the 1980s progressed, fewer private customers purchased the Diplomat, and the M-body was eventually dropped during the 1989 model year. Although sales were strong, Chrysler CEO Lee Iaccoca held a low opinion of the M-body line as a relic of the pre-K car era and declined to invest any money in them. Despite lower gas prices in the mid- to late-1980s and a 2.26:1 rear-end gear ratio, the Diplomat's carbureted engine and lack of an overdrive gear on its TorqueFlite automatic transmission resulted in poor fuel economy compared with its larger competitors from Ford and General Motors, as evidenced by comparing the EPA estimates for 1986 models:
The Daytona originally used the 2.2 L Chrysler K engine in normally aspirated (93 hp) or turbocharged (142 hp) form. The 100 hp 2.5 L K engine was added for 1986. In 1985, the 2.2 L Turbo I engine's horsepower was increased to 146 hp (109 kW). The 1984 Daytona was available in three trim lines: standard, Turbo and Turbo Z. Total production was 49,347. The Daytona Turbo was on Car and Driver magazine's 10Best list for 1984. Both the Daytona and Chrysler Laser were available with the Chrysler electronic voice alert system through 1987. A performance oriented "Shelby" version of the Daytona was introduced in 1987.For 1987, the Daytona was restyled externally, and featured pop-up headlights. New in 1987 was a Shelby Z trim level with an available Chrysler developed Turbo II (174 hp (130 kW) - 200 lb⋅ft (271 N⋅m)) intercooled version of the 2.2 L Chrysler K engine, as well as a heavy-duty A555 transaxle with Getrag gears. The Shelby Z also featured numerous suspension upgrades, including a larger diameter front sway bar and disc brakes on all four wheels. This version was sold in Europe under the name Chrysler GS Turbo II. A more luxury-oriented Pacifica trim line was also added to replace the Chrysler Laser, which was dropped in mid-year 1986. Among the optional equipment included a leather interior, eight-way power enthusiast driver's seat (with mechanical thigh and lumbar controls), digital instrument cluster, and a 12-button trip computer (with instant fuel ratings as well as trip averages and estimated travel times).
Diplomats built from mid-1988 until the end of production were among the first Chrysler-built products to have a driver's side airbag as standard equipment, some two model years before the remainder of Chrysler's lineup (they were also among the only cars at the time to offer a tilt steering column with an airbag). Diplomats with airbags differed from earlier models in that they were also equipped with a padded, color-keyed knee blocker which extended out from beneath the instrument panel in front of the driver.
The Dodge Dynasty is related to the Chrysler New Yorker; both car lines were built on the Chrysler C platform in Belvidere, Illinois. It is also similar to the Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue and Chrysler Imperial, which were available from 1990 to 1993 on an extended wheelbase platform of the Chrysler New Yorker. The Lee Iacocca-dictated styling was boxy and conservative compared to more aerodynamically styled competitors such as the Ford Taurus. Dynasty trim levels included base and LE. Additionally, a "Brougham" package was offered on 1992–93 LE models that added a padded "landau" vinyl roof. When the new front-wheel-drive Chrysler Corporation C-body cars (Dynasty and New Yorker) debuted for the 1988 model year, they were the first mass-produced cars in the world to have a fully multiplexed, fiber-optic wiring buss connecting all electronic accessories and controllers. This greatly reduced the amount and weight of wiring harnesses in the car. All models (1988–1993) featured power locks that automatically locked when the car's speed exceeded 15 miles per hour.
The 1989–1990 Ultradrive equipped models came with a 2.36:1 axle ratio, which was revised to 2.52:1 for 1991–1993. EPA mileage ratings were 21 city/25 highway MPG with the 4 cylinder & 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission. The 1988 3.0L V6 models with TorqueFlight transmission were rated at 18 city / 24 highway MPG. In 1989 the EPA rating for the 3.0/Ultradrive power-train changed to 18 city / 26 highway MPG. The new 3.3L V6 engine for 1990, with Ultradrive transmission, was rated at 19 city/ 26 highway MPG. A 2.5-litre inline-4 Chrysler engine (base model only), a Mitsubishi-sourced 3.0-litre V6, the 6G72 engine, and a Chrysler-built 3.3-litre V6 were available, although the 3.3 L V6 was not available until 1990. The four-cylinder came equipped with a TorqueFlite three-speed automatic transmission (the A413), as did the 3.0 L in 1988. The new electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission, known as the Ultradrive or A604 (List of Chrysler transmissions), debuted in 1989, and became the sole transmission for V6 models through the 1993 final production year of the Dynasty. The vast majority of Dynastys sold to private customers had V6 engines; four-cylinder models mostly went to the fleet market.
Through the late 1980s and 1990s, Dodge's designation as the sporty-car division was backed by a succession of high-performance and/or aggressively styled models including the:
The Omni and the Horizon ended production in 1990, and were replaced by the Dodge Shadow/Plymouth Sundance, which were both introduced for 1987. It outlived the European version by three years; Peugeot had bought Chrysler's European division in 1978 and re-badged the Horizon (along with the rest of the British Chrysler and French Simca range) as Talbots, with production lasting until 1987.
Both the Monaco and Premier were discontinued during the 1992 model year. However, its state of the art manufacturing plant and the key executive from American Motors behind the Premier/Monaco design, Francois Castaing, would lead to the successful and highly rated "cab-forward" LH Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler Concorde, and Eagle Vision versions in late 1992 when production resumed at Brampton Assembly.
The Dodge Spirit sedan is comparable to its contemporaneous Ford Tempo, and was also compared with the Ford Taurus, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry by Consumer Reports[ citation needed ]. The Spirit sold well and had higher consumer acceptance than the Stratus that replaced it.[ citation needed ] Dodge-branded Mitsubishi vehicles were phased out by 1993 except for the Dodge Stealth running through 1996, though Mitsubishi-made engines and electrical components were still widely used in American domestic Chrysler products.
In 1992, Dodge moved their performance orientation forward substantially with the Viper, which featured an aluminum V10 engine and composite sports roadster body. This was the first step in what was marketed as "The New Dodge", which was an aggressive advertising campaign with a litany of new models, with television ads narrated by Edward Herrmann that pointed out the innovations in the vehicles and challenged their competitors. Also,he would go on to serve as the brand's spokesperson for the rest of the decade.
Later that year was the introduction of new Intrepid sedan, totally different from its boxy Dynasty predecessor. The Intrepid used what Chrysler called "cab forward" styling, with the wheels pushed out to the corners of the chassis for maximum passenger space. The Intrepid was available in two trim levels: base and the sportier, better-equipped ES, which added four-wheel disc brakes, 16" wheels with better tires, and stiffer "touring" suspension damping. All Intrepids received driver and front passenger airbags, a rarity at the time, as well as air conditioning and the four-speed automatic transmission. Anti-lock brakes were optional, as was traction control and the more powerful 3.5 L SOHC engine rated at (214 hp).
In 1994, the new second generation Dodge Ram pickup was introduced with bold styling that departed radically from the boxy designs of trucks made by the Big Three for two decades prior. The second-generation Ram began development in 1986. The original concept, dubbed the "Louisville Slugger" by Chrysler's Advanced Packaging Studio, was to be a modular platform that would accommodate a full-size truck and full-size van, which would have provided a roomy cab and cargo bed.The design featured a big-rig-looking front end and a large grille that was deemed risky at its introduction, but ultimately proved popular with consumers.
The redesigned 1994 Ram was a sales success and was named "Truck of the Year" by Motor Trend in 1994.Sales increased from 95,542 units in 1993 to 232,092 in 1994, 410,000 in 1995, and 411,000 by 1996. That year, it was prominently featured as the hero vehicle in the film Twister . Sales of this generation peaked at just over 400,000 in 1999 before declining against the redesigned Ford and GM trucks.
They followed up on this idea in a smaller scale with the Neon and Stratus. The Dodge Stratus was the middle entry of the Chrysler JA platform (with the Cirrus being the higher-end model and the Breeze being the lower-end model). The three cars differed only in the front fascia, rear bumper, taillights, and wheels. The interiors also had little variation between the three models; being almost identical, save for the name on the steering wheel, and a few available options. The Stratus directly replaced the high-volume Spirit (United States only). The Stratus, Plymouth Breeze, and Chrysler Cirrus were all on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1996 and 1997. It received critical acclaim at launch, but ratings fell over time.
The first generation Neon was introduced in January 1994 and manufactured until August 1999. It was available as a four-door notchback sedan and a two-door notchback coupe. Available engines were SOHC and DOHC versions of Chrysler's 2.0 L 4-cylinder engine producing 132 hp (98 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 129 lb⋅ft (175 N⋅m) at 5,000 rpm or 150 hp (110 kW) at 6,500 rpm and 133 lb⋅ft (180 N⋅m) at 5,600 rpm, respectively; transaxle options were a 3-speed Torqueflite automatic or a five-speed manual.
The car was badged and sold as both a Dodge and a Plymouth in the United States and Canada; in Mexico was sold as Dodge and Chrysler, and in Europe, Australia and other export markets it was sold as the Chrysler Neon. At the Neon's release, then president of Chrysler Corporation Bob Lutz said, "There's an old saying in Detroit: 'Good, fast, or cheap. Pick any two.' We refuse to accept that." 102 hp (76 kW), the Civic EX at 127 hp (95 kW), the Nissan Sentra at 115 hp (86 kW), the Ford Escort ZX2 at 130 hp (97 kW), the Toyota Corolla at 115 hp (86 kW), the Saturn S-Series at 100 hp (75 kW) for SOHC variants and 124 hp (92 kW) for DOHC variants, and the Chevrolet Cavalier Base and LS models at 120 hp (89 kW), among others.The Japanese press touted the Neon as the "Japanese car killer", due to a spiralling Yen and the lower production cost of the Neon. The Neon received praise for its appearance, price, and power when compared to competing cars such as the Honda Civic DX at
The Dodge Durango is a mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by Dodge. The first two generations were very similar in that both were based on the Dodge Dakota, both featured a body-on-frame construction and both were produced at the Newark Assembly Plant in Newark, Delaware. The Durango was marketed as a sturdy truck-based SUV designed to hold up to seven passengers and tow up to 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) when properly equipped. The Durango shared a front end, instrument panel, and front seats with the Dakota pickup on which it was based. Original designs of the eight-passenger Durango featured a rear-facing third row similar to many older station wagons. To make room for a more practical forward-facing third row, Dodge shortened the length of the front doors and raised the roof two inches (5 cm) beyond the front seats, allowing for stadium seating. The Durango's roof rack was designed to mask the appearance of the raised roof.
In a move that never lived up to the expectations of its driving forces, Chrysler Corporation merged with Daimler-Benz AG in 1998 to form DaimlerChrysler. Rationalizing Chrysler's broad lineup was a priority, and Dodge's sister brand Plymouth was withdrawn from the market. With this move, Dodge became DaimlerChrysler's low-price division as well as its performance division.
The Intrepid, Stratus, and Neon updates of the 1998 to 2000 timeframe were largely complete before Daimler's presence, and Dodge's first experience of any platform sharing with the German side of the company was the 2005 Magnum station wagon, introduced as a replacement for the Intrepid. Featuring Chrysler's first mainstream rear-wheel drive platform since the 1980s and a revival of the Hemi V8 engine. The Charger was launched in 2006 on the same platform.
In 2000, the Stratus became the last of the surviving Cloud Cars, with the Cirrus renamed as the Sebring,and the Breeze discontinued (along with the Plymouth brand).
This generation of the Dodge Stratus was not sold in Canada, although 1999 was the last year for Dodge Stratus sales in Canada. 2002 models dropped the "DODGE" badges from the doors. During this time, sales declined as its ratings from consumer and auto magazines fell below average among mid-size cars,while the sedan market had shifted and pushed the larger Intrepid and later Charger to record sales. 2004 brought styling revisions, which did not reverse this trend. The Stratus was discontinued in May 2006 (the Sebring name was continued).
The Dodge Avenger name returned in February 2007 as a 2008 model year L GEMA I4 naturally aspirated "World Engine", a joint venture between DaimlerChrysler, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai. Additional engines included an optional 2.7 L V6 in the SXT and a standard 3.5 L V6 in the R/T trim level. In addition to the 2.4 L "World Engine" and the V6s, export vehicles were offered with the 2.0 L naturally aspirated "World Engine", as well as a 2.0 L turbocharged diesel (Pumpe-Düse) made by Volkswagen. As a 2008 model, the Dodge Avenger came to showrooms in February 2007.sedan to replace the Dodge Stratus, whose coupe version had replaced the original Avenger in 2001. According to some reports, the Avenger, along with the redesigned Chrysler Sebring, shares a DaimlerChrysler/Mitsubishi Motors platform called JS which used the Mitsubishi GS as a starting point. The base engine in the SE and SXT trim levels was the 2.4
Features on the new Avenger include optional heated/cooled cup holders as well as Dodge's new "Chill Zone", a feature that comes standard on all Avenger models, which can store up to four 12-US fl oz cans in the glove box and chill them to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Like its Dodge Journey stablemate, the Avenger's exterior was styled by Chrysler's Ryan Nagode. The interior was styled by Ben S. Chang.
Further cost savings were explored in the form of an extensive platform-sharing arrangement with Mitsubishi, which spawned the Caliber subcompact as a replacement for the Neon, and the Avenger sedan. The rear-drive chassis was then used in early 2008 to build a new Challenger, with styling reminiscent of the original 1970 Challenger. Like its predecessor, the new Challenger coupe was available with a powerful V8 engine (base models featured a V6). In Spring 2007, DaimlerChrysler reached an agreement with Cerberus Capital Management to sell its Chrysler Group subsidiary, of which the Dodge division was a part. Soon after, the housing bubble began to collapse the American market, and on May 1, 2009, Chrysler and GM filed for bankruptcy on the same day.
On June 10, 2009, Italian automaker Fiat formed a partnership with Chrysler under Sergio Marchionne, with the UAW, and the US Government to form Chrysler Group LLC, of which Dodge remained fully integrated. For its part, the US Government provided more than $6 billion in loans at 21%, called a "bridge loan" or "bailout". The newly formed company went on to fully repay that loan, remortgaging to reduce the interest rate several times down to 6%. They fully paid back the loan with interest to the U.S. Government on May 24, 2011, a full five years early. The UAW, being partners throughout the process, were paid well and above $3.9 billion in 2013 as Sergio's plan for full consolidation has continued on schedule. This has allowed Chrysler LLC to fully merge with Fiat to form FCA, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, in 2014. The combined company will be based in London.
In 2013, Dodge reintroduced a compact car based on an Alfa Romeo design called the Dart. It was the first new Dodge model produced under FCA.
On May 6, 2014, FCA announced a major restructuring, in which Dodge would focus solely on performance vehicles and will be positioned between Chrysler (which is moving downmarket into mainstream vehicles) and a relaunched Alfa Romeo (making its return to North America after a 20-year absence) in the FCA lineup. This is a set up similar to PSA Peugeot Citroën, which positions Peugeot as its mainstream brand while Citroën is more performance-based, as well as Hyundai Motor Group having its two mainstream brands, Kia Motors and Hyundai Motor Company focusing on performance and mid-luxury, respectively.[ citation needed ] (Among the American press, it has drawn comparisons to the decades-long set up of Chevrolet and Pontiac at General Motors before the phase-out of Pontiac in 2010.) As part of the restructuring, Dodge will discontinue the Dodge Grand Caravan (after 32 years) and Dodge Avenger without replacements, while launching a sporty subcompact below the Dart in 2018. Additionally, while the Ram Trucks division will remain separate (although the Dodge Durango will remain in production as a Dodge), the SRT division was merged back into Dodge.
Over the decades, Dodge has become well known for its passenger car output, along with its many truck models, but after almost a century of manufacturing these vehicles, a decision was made to spin off Dodge's trucks into a separate Ram brand, based on the popularity of their top-selling truck, the Dodge Ram. Although the Ram trucks are marketed separately from Dodge cars, Ram President Fred Diaz has said:
Ram trucks will always and forever be Dodges. Ram will always have the Dodge emblem inside and outside and they will be 'vinned' (from the acronym VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number) as a Dodge. We need to continue to market as Ram so Dodge can have a different brand identity: hip, cool, young, energetic. That will not fit the campaign for truck buyers. The two should have distinct themes.
Ever since the beginning of its history in 1914, Dodge has offered light truck models. For the first few years, these were based largely on the existing passenger cars, but eventually gained their own chassis and body designs as the market matured. Light- and medium-duty models were offered first, then a heavy-duty range was added during the 1930s and 1940s. The Warren Truck Assembly plant in Michigan, just north of Detroit, was opened in 1938, and Dodge trucks have been made there ever since.
Following World War II and the successful application of four-wheel drive to the truck line, Dodge introduced a civilian version that it called the Power Wagon. At first based almost exactly on the military-type design, variants of the standard truck line were eventually given 4WD and the same "Power Wagon" name.
Dodge was among the first to introduce car-like features to its trucks, adding the plush Adventurer package during the 1960s and offering sedan-like space in its Club Cab bodies of the 1970s. Declining sales and increased competition during the 1970s eventually forced the company to drop its medium- and heavy-duty models, an arena the company has only recently begun to reenter.
Dodge introduced what they called the "Adult Toys" line to boost its truck sales in the late 1970s, starting off with the limited edition Lil' Red Express pickup (featuring, a 360 c.i. police interceptor engine and visible big rig-style exhaust stacks). Later came the more widely available Warlock. Other "Adult Toys" from Dodge included the "Macho Power Wagon" and "Street Van".
As part of a general decline in the commercial vehicle field during the 1970s, Dodge eliminated their LCF Series heavy-duty trucks in 1975, along with the Bighorn and medium-duty D-Series trucks, and affiliated S Series school buses were dropped in 1978. On the other hand, Dodge produced several thousand pickups for the United States Military under the CUCV program from the late 1970s into the early 1980s.
Continuing financial problems meant that even Dodge's light-duty models – renamed as the Ram Pickup line for 1981 – were carried over with the most minimal of updates until 1993. Two things helped to revitalize Dodge's fortunes during this time. One was the introduction of Cummins' powerful and reliable B Series turbo-diesel engine as an option for 1989. This innovation raised Dodge's profile among consumers who needed power for towing or large loads. The second was a class-exclusive V8 engine option for the mid-sized Dakota pickup.
Dodge introduced the Ram's all-new "big-rig" styling treatment for 1994. Besides its instantly polarizing looks, exposure was also gained by usage of the new truck on the hit TV show Walker, Texas Ranger starring Chuck Norris. The new Ram also featured a totally new interior with a console box big enough to hold a laptop computer, and ventilation and radio controls that were designed to be easily used even with gloves on. A V10 engine derived from that used in the Viper sports car was also new, and the previously offered Cummins turbodiesel remained available. The smaller Dakota was redesigned for 1997 using the big rig styling, thus giving Dodge trucks a definitive "face" that set them apart from the competition.
The Ram was redesigned again for 2002, and the Dakota in 2005, and was basically an evolution of the original, but adding the Hemi V8 engine to the list of available options, due to the revival of the legendary Chrysler Hemi V8 engine. New medium duty chassis cab models were introduced for 2007 with standard Cummins turbodiesel power as a way of gradually getting Dodge back into the business truck market again.
For a time during the 1980s, Dodge imported a line of small pickups from Mitsubishi, known as the D50, or later the Ram 50 and were carried on as a stopgap until the Dakota's sales eventually made the imported trucks irrelevant. Reversing the role, Mitsubishi has more recently purchased Dakota pickups from Dodge and restyled them into their own Raider line for sale in North America.
Dodge had offered panel delivery models for many years since its founding, but their first purpose-built van model arrived for 1964 with the compact A Series. Based on the Dodge Dart platform and using its proven six-cylinder or V8 engines, the A-series was a strong competitor for both its domestic rivals (from Ford and Chevrolet/GMC) and the diminutive Volkswagen Transporter line.
As the market evolved, Dodge realized that a bigger and stronger van line would be needed in the future, and thus the B Series was introduced for 1971, and offered both car-like comfort in its Sportsman passenger line or expansive room for gear and materials in its Tradesman cargo line. A chassis cab version was also offered for use with bigger cargo boxes or flatbeds. Like the trucks, Chrysler's dire financial straits of the late 1970s precluded any major updates for the vans for many years. Rebadged as the Ram Van and Ram Wagon for 1981, this old design carried on for 33 years with little more than cosmetic and safety updates all the way to 2003.
The DaimlerChrysler merger of 1999 made it possible for Dodge to explore new ideas; hence the European-styled Mercedes-Benz Sprinter line of vans was brought over and given a Dodge styling treatment. Redesigned for 2006 as a 2007 model, the economical diesel-powered Sprinters have become very popular for city usage among delivery companies like FedEx and UPS in recent years. Because of their fuel efficiency major motorhome manufacturer Thor Motor Coach made several Class C and Class A Motorhomes available on the Dodge Sprinter Chassis including their popular Four Winds Siesta & Chateau Citation product lines.
Dodge also offered a cargo version of its best-selling Caravan for many years, at first calling it the Mini Ram Van, which was a name originally applied to the short-wheelbase B Series Ram Vans, and later naming it the Caravan C/V, the C/V stood for Cargo Van. For model year 2011, the Caravan C/V was rebranded as a Ram, and was renamed the Ram C/V.
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 did not 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[ original research? ] 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.
From the late 20th century onwards, Dodge's highest performing vehicles fell under the category SRT. These models often came equipped with high performance V8s under the hood. These models included the Dodge Challenger SRT (2008–current), Dodge Charger SRT (2006–current), Dodge Magnum SRT (2006–2008) and Dodge Durango SRT (2018-current-). They also produced the Dodge Neon SRT-4 (2003–2005), Dodge Caliber SRT-4 (2008–2009), Dodge Viper (1991–2010; 2012–2017) and Dodge Ram SRT-10 (2004–2006). In 2015, FCA introduced the Hellcat, a 707 HP, supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8. In 2017, Dodge released the Dodge Challenger Demon. It is powered by an 840 HP supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8, and comes from the factory with a toolbox known as the "Demon Toolbox" that has everything a buyer will need to drag race, including the skinny front drag tires. However, buyers will only get 840 HP on race fuel. On regular pump gas, it produces 808 HP, a 101 HP increase over the Hellcat.
Dodge came to Argentina in the early 20th century with imported cars and trucks. In 1960, it partnered with Fevre-Basset as a local manufacturer. The first vehicle made in Argentina was the D-100 "Sweptline" pickup.Between 1961 and 1980, a variety of trucks were produced, including the D-400/DP-400, D-500 /DP-500, DP600, DD900 and DD1000 (the last two with one curiosity: the air-cooled Deutz engine rather Perkins or Chrysler ). Passenger cars were also produced, namely the Valiant I and II, and the local versions of the 1966 Dodge Dart (called Valiant III and IV). In 1971, the Dodge 1500, a rebadged Hillman Avenger from the United Kingdom was introduced. In 1982, production of Dodge vehicles ceased when German company Volkswagen bought the Fevre plant and the shares.
In Argentina, the name "Polara" was used to refer to a series of vehicles developed on the basis of the fourth generation North American Dodge Dart. These cars were manufactured between 1968 and 1980, by the subsidiary Chrysler-Fevre Argentina S.A.
In 1993, Dodge began marketing cars and pick-ups directly in Argentina. Currently, both the Journey and the Ram are available to Argentine customers.
Dodge entered the Japanese market in mid-2007, and re-entered the Chinese market in late 2007. Soueast Motors of China assembles the Caravan for the Chinese market. Dodge began marketing its vehicles in South Korea in 2004, starting with the Dakota.
Dodge re-entered the Australian market in 2006 with the Caliber, their first offering since the AT4/D5N trucks in 1979 and the first Dodge passenger car to be marketed in Australia since the Phoenix sedan was discontinued in 1973. The second model to be introduced was the Nitro, with the Avenger and Journey followed. Dodge chose not use the full model lines and engines available to them, the 2.7L V6 being available in the Journey and Avenger instead of the 3.2 in the North American versions. However they did introduce diesel engines in all their cars. Following the Global Financial Crisis, Chrysler introduced the facelifted model of the Caliber and discontinued the Avenger imports. From early 2012 on, model year 2010 cars were available. By early 2012 no new cars were being brought into Australia aside from the new facelifted 2012 Journey.
There are now rumours that Dodge cars will be re-badged as Fiats in the Australian market as has happened in Europe. In contrast, recent speculation has suggested that the Dodge nameplate would continue on until at least 2015, due to consistent sales of the Journey.
In Brazil, Dodge cars were produced between 1969 and 1981 with the models Dart, Charger, Magnum, LeBaron (all powered by the same 318 cid V8 engine), and the compact 1800/Polara, based on the British Hillman Avenger. The manufacturer was acquired by Volkswagen in 1981. In 1998, the Dakota pickup started production in a new plant in Campo Largo, Paraná by Mercedes-Benz, which belongs to its former partner Daimler AG. It was built there until 2001 with petrol and diesel engines and regular, extended and crew cabs. In 2010, Dodge started sales of the imported pickup Ram 2500. The model portfolio is being expanded, starting with the Journey crossover for the 2009 model year.
In Canada, the Dodge lineup of cars started down the road to elimination along with the Plymouth line when in 1988 the Dodge Dynasty was sold in Canada as the Chrysler Dynasty and sold at both Plymouth and Dodge dealers. Similarly, the new Dodge Intrepid, the Dynasty's replacement, was sold as the Chrysler Intrepid.
For 2000, the new Neon became the Chrysler Neon. The Chrysler Cirrus and Mitsubishi-built Dodge Avenger were dropped. Dodge trucks, which have been sold at Canadian Plymouth dealers since 1973, continued without change. All Plymouth-Chrysler and Dodge-Chrysler dealers became Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealers.
The diluting of the Chrysler name did not go well in Canada, especially as the nameplate had been pushed as a luxury line since the 1930s. For 2003, the revamped Neon appeared in Canada as the Dodge SX 2.0. Since then, all new Dodge models have been sold in Canada under the Dodge name.
Dodge started assembling lorries (trucks) in the United Kingdom, from imported parts, in 1922. In 1933 it began to manufacture a British chassis, at its works in Kew, using American engines and gearboxes.
Following Chrysler's takeover of the British Rootes Group, Simca of France, and Barreiros of Spain, and the resultant establishment of Chrysler Europe in the late 1960s, the Dodge brand was used on light commercial vehicles, most of which were previously branded Commer or Karrier, on pickup and van versions of the Simca 1100, on the Spanish Dodge Dart, and on heavy trucks built in Spain. The most common of these was the Dodge 50 series, widely used by utility companies and the military, but rarely seen outside the UK, and the Spanish-built heavy-duty 300 series available as 4x2, 6x4, 8x2, and 8x4 rigids, as well as 4x2 semi-trailer tractors. All of these were also sold in selected export markets badged either as Fargo or De Soto.
Following Chrysler Europe's collapse in 1977, and the sale of their assets to Peugeot, the Chrysler/Dodge British and Spanish factories were quickly passed on to Renault Véhicules Industriels. Chrysler licensed the Dodge name to be used on Renault trucks sold in certain European markets – most notably the United Kingdom, although it eventually reverted to Renault when the associated models were discontinued. They would eventually drop these products altogether and used the plants to produce engines (in the UK) and "real" Renault truck models in Spain. Dodge vehicles would not return to the UK until the introduction of the Neon, badged as a Chrysler, in the mid-1990s.
The Dodge marque was reintroduced to Europe on a broad scale in 2006, with a lineup consisting of the Caliber, Avenger, Viper SRT-10, Nitro and Dodge Journey. However, in 2010 Chrysler pulled the Dodge marque from the UK lineup due to poor sales.On June 1, 2011 the Dodge name was dropped from the rest of Europe when it was replaced by the Fiat brand, where Fiat rebadged the Dodge Journey as the Fiat Freemont. However, the Freemont is not available in the Ireland or UK Fiat lineup.
In Mexico, the Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Atos, and Hyundai H100 were branded as "Dodge", Dodge Attitude, "Verna by Dodge", "Atos by Dodge" and "Dodge H100" respectively, and sold at Chrysler/Dodge dealers. Current models are marketed with Hyundai logos instead of the "Ram" logo on previous model years since 2014. Dodge and Hyundai ended the venture and Dodge will use rebadged and reworked Fiats (2014). Also, to the next year with Mitsubishi Mirage is sold as the new Dodge Attitude since 2015.
A second emblem was revealed during the unveiling of the 2011 Durango, which used the same five-point shield-shaped outline of the old emblem, but with the ram's head replaced with a chrome cross reminiscent of the brand's signature cross-haired grille.This was only used on the steering wheel. In 2014, the cross logo was replaced by the word "DODGE" on the Durango steering wheel. A modified version of the Ram's head logo is still used for the Ram brand, with "RAM" written across the bottom in bold white or black lettering.
|Challenger||1970–74; 1978–83; 2008–present|
|Charger||1966–1978; 1983–87; 2006–present|
|Lancer||1955–59; 1961–62; 1985–89|
|Ram SRT 10||2004–2006|
|Town Panel / Wagon||1954–1966|
John F. Dodge, the Detroit automobile manufacturer, who had been ill for a week with pneumonia in his apartments at the Ritz-Carlton, failed to survive the crisis of the attack and died last night at half past 10 o'clock. For some time before the end he was unconscious and unable to recognize his wife and daughters who were at his side.
Horace E. Dodge, millionaire automobile manufacturer, died here tonight at his Winter home.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dodge vehicles .|
Fleet Data Society
|Sport compact||Shelby Charger / GLH||Shelby GLHS||Shelby CSX||SRT-4|
Dodge truck timeline, North American market, 1970s–present
|Full-size SUV||Ramcharger||Ramcharger ‡||Ramcharger ‡||Durango||Durango|
|Van||A100||Tradesman||Ram Van/Ram Wagon||Ram Van/Ram Wagon||Ram|
|Compact pickup||D-50||Ram 50||Ram 50|
|Full-size pickup||D Series||D Series||Ram (D Series)||Ram||Ram||Ram|
|Heavy-duty truck||LCF/C Series|
|Notes:||‡ The Ramcharger was not sold in the United States after the 1994 model year; it was later made exclusive to Mexico.|
|After Fiat S.p.A. acquired Chrysler LLC in 2009, models of trucks and cargo vans were no longer designated as Dodge, but exclusively as Ram. A timeline of these models can be found here.|
Plymouth was a brand of automobiles based in the United States, produced by the Chrysler Corporation and its successor DaimlerChrysler. The brand first appeared in 1928 in the United States to compete in what was then described as the "low-priced" market segment dominated by Chevrolet and Ford. Plymouth was the high-volume seller for the automaker until the late 1990s. The brand was withdrawn from the marketplace in 2001. The Plymouth models that were produced up to then were either discontinued or rebranded as Chrysler or Dodge.
The Dodge Rampage was a subcompact, unibody coupe utility based on Chrysler's L platform and manufactured from 1982 to 1984. First released as a 1982 model, the Rampage was later joined for 1983 by its rebadged variant, the Plymouth Scamp.
FCA Canada Inc., formerly Chrysler Canada, is the wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles operating in Canada. Incorporated in 1925, the Chrysler Corporation of Canada gained complete control of a Maxwell-Chalmers plant in Windsor, Ontario that had been used to manufacture some Chrysler models in the previous year. Initially called Chrysler Canada, Ltd, the name of the company changed to DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc following the merger of the two parent companies. In August 2007, the company was renamed Chrysler Canada Incorporated when Cerberus Capital Management purchased 80.1% of its parent company Chrysler LLC.
The LA engines are a family of pushrod OHV 90° V-configured gasoline engines built by Chrysler Corporation. It was factory-installed in passenger vehicles, trucks and vans, commercial vehicles, marine and industrial applications from 1964 through 2003. The combustion chambers are wedge-shaped, rather than the polyspherical combustion chambers in the predecessor A engine or the hemispherical combustion chambers in the Chrysler Hemi engine. All versions are made of cast iron, except for the Viper V10 which is aluminum. LA engines have the same 4.46 in (113 mm) bore spacing as the A engines. LA engines were made at Chrysler's Mound Road Engine plant in Detroit, Michigan, as well as plants in Canada and Mexico. The "LA" stands for "Light A", as the older "A" engine it was closely based on was nearly 50 pounds heavier. Willem Weertman, who later became Chief Engineer – Engine Design and Development, was in charge of the conversion. The basic design of the LA engine would go unchanged through the development of the "Magnum" upgrade (1992-1993) and into the 2000s with changes to enhance power and efficiency.
The Ram pickup is a full-size pickup truck manufactured by FCA US LLC and marketed as of 2011 onwards under the Ram Trucks brand. The current fifth-generation Ram debuted at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.
The Dodge Dakota, known as the Ram Dakota for the final two years of production, is a mid-size pickup truck from Chrysler's Ram division. From its introduction through 2009, it was marketed by Dodge. The first Dakota was introduced in 1986 as a 1987 model alongside the redesigned Dodge Ram 50. The Dakota was nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award for 2000. The Dakota has always been sized above the compact Ford Ranger and Chevrolet S-10, but below the full-sized pickups such as Dodge's own Ram. It is a conventional design with body-on-frame construction and a leaf spring/live axle rear end. The Dakota is the first mid-size pickup with an optional V8 engine. One notable feature was the Dakota's rack and pinion steering which was added as a part of the 1997 re-design, a first for work trucks. Dakotas have been used by police and fire departments, as off-road vehicles, patrol trucks, or even brush trucks.
The Dodge B series was a range of full-size vans that were produced by Chrysler Corporation from 1971 to 2003. Through their production, the full-size vans were sold under several different nameplates. Most examples were sold by the Dodge division, although rebadged versions were sold by the now-defunct Fargo and Plymouth divisions. Unfortunately, despite many customer requests, the Dodge Ram van was not available in the desired 360 V8 model until 1972.
TorqueFlite is the trademarked name of Chrysler Corporation's automatic transmissions, starting with the three-speed unit introduced late in the 1956 model year as a successor to Chrysler's two-speed PowerFlite. In the 1990s, the TorqueFlite name was dropped in favor of alphanumeric designations, although the latest ZF-based transmissions with the 8-speed automatic has revived the name.
The Dodge Ramcharger was a large sport utility vehicle built by Dodge from 1974 to 1993, and based on a shortened-wheelbase version of the Dodge D Series/Ram pickup truck chassis. A Plymouth version, named the Plymouth Trail Duster and offered from 1974 to 1981, was Plymouth's only SUV. The Ramcharger was primarily produced as a two-door, four wheel drive vehicle although a two wheel drive version was available. As a full-size SUV, it competed with the Chevrolet K5 Blazer and the 1978-1996 Ford Bronco. It was powered by a Chrysler LA engine and the most common was the 318 in³ and the 360 in³ and in the early years, the big-block RB 440 in³ engines powered the Ramcharger. It was discontinued at the end of the 1993 model year in North America and was brought back in Mexico from 1999-2001 as a 2 door Dodge Durango with a Dodge Ram grille.
The D/W series was a line of pickup trucks that was sold by Dodge from 1961 to 1993. The same basic design was retained until the 1994 introduction of a completely redesigned Ram. The D/W series shared its AD platform with the Dodge Ramcharger/Plymouth Trail Duster twins. 4x2 models were designated D, while 4x4 models were designated W.
The Chrysler Hemi engines, known by the trademark Hemi, are a series of I6 and V8 gasoline engines built by Chrysler with hemispherical combustion chambers. Three different types of Hemi engines have been built by Chrysler for automobiles: the first from 1951 to 1958, the second from 1964 to 1971, and the third beginning in 2003. Although Chrysler is most identified with the use of "Hemi" as a marketing term, many other auto manufacturers have incorporated similar designs.
The Dodge Caliber is a front-engine, front-wheel drive five-door compact hatchback manufactured and marketed by Chrysler's Dodge division from model years 2007 to 2012, replacing the Dodge Neon and Chrysler PT Cruiser.
DeSoto is an American automobile marque that was manufactured and marketed by the DeSoto Division of the Chrysler Corporation from 1928 to the 1961 model year. The De Soto marque was officially dropped November 30, 1960, with over two million vehicles built since 1928.
The Mitsubishi Triton is a compact pickup truck produced by Mitsubishi. In Japan it was originally known as the Mitsubishi Forte and from 1991 as the Strada. In the United States Chrysler Corporation sold captive imports as the Dodge Ram 50 and Plymouth Arrow truck, and Mitsubishi marketed it as the Mitsubishi Mighty Max until 1996.
The Dodge Ram SRT-10 is a sport pickup truck that was produced by American automaker Dodge in limited numbers. It was introduced at the January 2002 North American International Auto Show, but was not put into production until 2004.
Chrysler Australia, officially FCA Australia, is the importer of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Alfa Romeo and Fiat vehicles for sale in the Australian marketplace. However, there had previously been a "Chrysler Australia Ltd" which had operated as a vehicle manufacturer in Australia from 1951 until 1980, and was subsequently taken over by Mitsubishi Motors Australia.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. is an Italian and American multinational corporation and is the world’s eighth largest auto maker. The group was established in October 2014 by merging Fiat and Chrysler into a new holding company. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' main headquarters are located in the Netherlands, and the financial headquarters are in London for tax purposes. The holding company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Borsa Italiana in Milan. Exor N.V., an Italian investment group controlled by the Agnelli family, owns 29.19% of FCA and controls 44.31% through a loyalty voting mechanism.
The first-generation Chrysler minivans are a series of minivans produced and marketed by the Chrysler Corporation in North American and Europe from 1984 to 1990. Sold in both passenger and cargo configurations, the series is the first of six generations of Chrysler minivans. Launched ahead of chief competitors Chevrolet Astro/GMC Safari and Ford Aerostar, the first-generation Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager effectively created the modern minivan segment in North America, with many later North American minivans adopting a similar body configuration.