Dodge is a United States-based brand of automobiles, minivans, and sport utility vehicles, manufactured by Chrysler Group LLC, a multinational manufacturer in a global strategic alliance with Fiat, in more than 60 different countries and territories worldwide.
Founded as the Dodge Brothers Company in 1900 to supply parts and assemblies for Detroit's growing auto industry, Dodge began making its own complete vehicles in 1915. The brand was sold to Chrysler Corporation in 1928, passed through the short-lived DaimlerChrysler merger of 1998–2007 as part of the Chrysler Group, was a part of Chrysler LLC owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity investment firm, and is now a part of the Chrysler Group LLC, which has an alliance with Fiat. Fiat has plans to evolve many Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep existing platforms and products into Fiat-Chrysler co-developed vehicles.
Founding and early years
Dodge Brothers delivery trucks, Salt Lake City, 1920
After the founding of the Dodge Brothers Company by Horace and John Dodge in 1900, the Detroit-based company quickly found work producing precision engine and chassis components for the city’s burgeoning number of automobile firms. Chief among these customers were the established Olds Motor Vehicle Company and the then-new Ford Motor Company. Dodge Brothers enjoyed much success in this field, but the brothers' growing wish to build complete vehicles was exemplified by John Dodge's 1913 exclamation that he was "tired of being carried around in Henry Ford's vest pocket."
By 1914, Horace had found a solution by creating the new four-cylinder Dodge Model 30. Marketed as a slightly more upscale competitor to the ubiquitous Ford Model T, it pioneered or made standard many features later taken for granted: all-steel body construction (the vast majority of cars worldwide still used wood-framing under steel panels, though Stoneleigh and BSA used steel bodies as early as 1911); 12-volt electrical system (6-volt systems would remain the norm until the 1950s); 35 horsepower (versus the Model T's 20), and sliding-gear transmission (the best-selling Model T would retain an antiquated planetary design until its demise in 1927). As a result of this, and the brothers' well-earned reputation for quality through the 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. This led the Dodges to file suit to protect their annual stock earnings of approximately one million dollars, in turn, leading Ford to buy out his shareholders; the Dodges were paid some US$25 million.
Also in 1916, Dodge Brothers vehicles won acclaim for durability while in service with the U.S. Army's Pancho Villa Expedition into Mexico. One notable instance was in May when the 6th Infantry received a reported sighting of Julio Cardenas, 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 a raid at a ranch house in San Miguelito, Sonora. During the ensuing firefight the party killed three men, of whom one was identified as Cardenas. Patton's men tied the bodies to the hoods of the Dodges, returning to headquarters in Dublan and an excited reception from US newspapermen.
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:33:00 EST
With its crazy 707 horsepower on tap and roughly $60,000 starting price, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has been one of the most talked about cars of the summer, maybe even the year. However, there's always been one lingering question about the behemoth that Dodge has waited to answer until now - its fuel economy. The EPA ratings for the muscle car are finally out, and the numbers are actually pretty impressive for a vehicle with this much power.
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:31:00 EST
A 2015 Challenger Hellcat with the eight-speed automatic is rated at 22 miles per gallon highway, 13 mpg city and 16 mpg combined. Opting for the six-speed manual drops those figures to 21 mpg highway, 13 mpg city and 16 mpg combined.
"As the fastest muscle car ever, the Challenger Hellcat can run 10-second ETs [elapsed times] at the track, and then get 22 miles per gallon on the drive home. With a starting price of $59,995, there's nothing else that even comes close," said Dodge and SRT President Tim Kuniskis in the company's release.
The saga of the Washington state community college hoping to keep its allegedly pre-production Dodge Viper out of the maw of the crusher is going strong. Not only does the school still have the car, but there's a chance that the college might even get to keep it.
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 11:00:00 EST
The whole situation flared up in March when the South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, WA, received a notice from Chrysler Group that requested that the school's Viper be destroyed. The automaker had loaned the muscle car to it about a decade ago to use for educational purposes in its auto tech classes. With the Dodge growing long in the tooth, "it is unlikely that these vehicles offer any educational value to students," the company said in its press release on the matter.
However, the college balked at destroying its Viper, despite the fact it had signed a contract with Chrysler Group to do so. The school further claimed that its car was incredibly special because it was a pre-production example and just the fourth one made back in 1992. Although, as we pointed out at the time, the photos of the school's vehicle showed a coupe that looked like a newer Viper GTS.
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is probably one of the hottest cars of the moment mostly because of its insane, 707-horsepower supercharged V8. However, there are conflicting reports coming out that the powerplant might be having problems with its emissions compliance and may be capable of even more power.
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:01:00 EST
Jalopnik says that an unnamed source within Fiat Chrysler Automobiles told it that the Hellcat was having problems meeting emissions standards at its 707-horsepower tune. The person claimed that the automaker has been testing the V8 with different types of sensors, possibly to make it a bit cleaner in the future. Autoblog spoke to SRT spokesperson Dan Reid, and he said about the claimed poor emissions, "It's totally speculation."
The source also claimed that the Hellcat had been dynoed at a monumental 825 horsepower, internally. Based on the other rumor, though, it's hard to imagine the engine being emissions compliant like that. Autoblog also asked Reid about this speculation about more power and was told, "They are totally speculating about that."
The Aficionauto host Christopher Rutkowski has a real passion for original and replica cars from movies and television, whether they are from James Bond, Jurassic Park, or incredibly obscure Japanese shows. However, he might have outdone himself this time because he hopped into one of the biggest automotive stars of contemporary cinema. This 1970 Dodge Charger appeared in Fast & Furious and came back in Fast Five, where Paul Walker actually drove it. The menacing, black muscle car will make its return to the franchise in the seventh film, too.
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 17:44:00 EST
The Fast and Furious Charger is a real beast no matter how you look at it. The interior is nothing more than two seats and a roll cage, and as the video shows, this thing vibrates constantly like a coiled mass of muscle ready to strike. The camera can barely stay in place most of the time. Also, Dom's Dodge is more than happy to do a smoky burnout and leave the driver partially deaf afterward from its wonderful, ear-splitting engine roar.
The Aficionauto also interviews the man who controls the keys to this beast. Bob Hartwig was once an F-15 pilot, but he also loved Hollywood vehicles. Now, he's a partner at Picture Car Warehouse, a company with about 850 cars that supplies vehicles to film studios. This Charger definitely seems to be Hartwig's favorite in the collection, as it should be.
We all hate the idea of the dreaded dealer markup when it comes to buying a highly anticipated new car. Take the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, for example. You might spend hours reading about its supercharged V8 and speccing the model just right in the configurator, but when it finally comes down to laying down the cash, the dealer adds thousands of dollars as a "market adjustment" on the muscle machine of your dreams. As it turns out, when the Hellcat starts hitting showrooms in the third quarter, Dodge is trying to make sure that's not the case.
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:16:00 EST
Dealer orders for the much-hyped Hellcat recently started, but Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis has put some special caveats in place to ensure that the Hellcat makes it to the road quickly. The initial allocation is based on the number of Dodge products that a showroom has sold in the last 180 days, and a second allotment in December is based on the last 90 days of sales and 30-day turnover. "You sell a lot of Darts for me, Journeys for me, Durangos for me, I'm going to give you the rights to this one, too, because this is a halo of the brand," said Kuniskis to Automotive News.
Furthermore, how quickly the Hellcat sells is also going to decide whether showrooms get more of them. "If you want to market-adjust the car, that's your right. But if your days-on-lot goes above what the other guys that are selling them at MSRP is, they will end up earning the allocation because their days-on-lot will be lower," he said to Automotive News. Obviously, this doesn't prevent dealers from marking up the Challenger SRT, but the strategy certainly discourages it.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least one man has reported that his 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan stalled unexpectedly on the highway shortly after being refueled. The unidentified man who contacted NHTSA regarding the issue cited as many as eight similar instances reported by other drivers.
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 16:00:00 EST
NHTSA has announced that it will launch an inquiry into this issue, which could affect as many as 160,000 minivans from Dodge and Chrysler that were sold in 2007 (or more, if a problem is found that extends to additional models years, we'd assume). As of yet, there's no formal investigation, let alone a recall, on these vans, as the agency is merely determining if further action is needed.
Two months ago, Chrysler recalled nearly 700,000 vehicles, the majority of which were minivans, from the 2008-2010 model years to replace ignition switches after an investigation found that their weak springs and detent positions could fool a driver into thinking the car was in the "Run" position, when it's actually in the "Accessory" position.
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has sucked up a lot of air in the automotive news world this summer, so it's good to know that you can actually go out and, you know, buy the sucker. With 2015 models headed for your local showroom, Dodge has seen fit to also pull the wraps off it's latest Challenger configurator, complete with the supercharged Hemi V8 option that we just can't seem to get enough of.
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 09:35:00 EST
We're still enamored of the $58,995 starting price for the 707-horsepower SRT, but the online tool finally gives us a chance to see just how optioned up our dream super-muscle coupe can get.
Buyers can choose from three interior treatments and nine paint colors, with two hues (Ivory White and Phantom Black tri-coats) coming for a $500 premium. For $1,795 Laguna Leather SRT bucket seats can be added in place of the (very nice) stock chairs, and a fancier infotaiment system with navigation and HD radio runs $695.
We recently saw updated specs and new trims of the 2015 Viper, but it looks like the folks at Dodge were saving the biggest surprise for last. Prices on all levels of the American sports car are seeing an immediate, across-the-board price cut of $15,000; even 2014 models still remaining on dealer lots.
Fri, 05 Sep 2014 20:04:00 EST
The new MSRP for the 2015 Viper in its base SRT trim now starts at $84,995, and when the TA and GTS come to the lineup later next year, they start at $100,995 and $107,995, respectively. The move seems like a swing for the fences that might help to quell slow sales.
Obviously, current Viper owners might be somewhat peeved that their investment was just re-priced by the company. However, to assuage some of their concerns, Dodge is giving all fifth-gen owners a certificate worth $15,000 towards the purchase of a new one, which comes in addition to the price reduction.
There's an evergreen debate among auto enthusiasts about whether they would prefer to have the latest and greatest car of today or a certified classic from yesteryear. What if you had to further define that, though, and the choice was between a brand new 2015 Subaru Legacy or a turbocharged Datsun 240Z with a hatch that wouldn't close? Roadkill aimed to find out that and more in one of its best videos to date.
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:44:00 EST
According to the hosts, Subaru came to them, handed over some money and challenged Roadkill's project cars against its latest Legacy. The result is every bit as good (or better) than any automotive-themed show you could find on television.
Things start simple with a figure-eight race in a rodeo arena with the Subaru taking on Roadkill's 1968 Ford Ranchero, originally built for ice racing. From there the Legacy races a 1968 Dodge Charger with no windows around and off-road rally stage. Finally, the Subie goes head-to-head against the Rotsun, the aforementioned turbocharged 240Z, through an abandoned neighborhood. Plus, there's a bonus drag race challenging them all.
With its troubling sales figures, the newly rechristened SRT Dodge Viper needs to come out swinging for 2015. To do that, Dodge has made a number of tweaks and changes that will hopefully carry the V10-powered sports car into more successful days.
First up for 2015 is a new GT model, which aims to marry the reasonable price of the base car with the adjustable suspension and trick stability control program of the GTS model. The GT also sports a cabin that's covered in Alcantara suede and Nappa leather as standard.
Also new for 2015 is the SRT TA 2.0 Special Edition, which expands on last year's Viper TA by adding new aerodynamic bits and bobs, including a larger rear wing, which ups downforce at 150 miles per hour from 278 pounds to 400 pounds.