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.
Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:27:00 EST
Other than the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Mount Rushmore, South Dakota isn't generally a hot topic, but that just means that cool stuff can hide in the open waiting to be discovered. Case in point: the classic car dealer Frankman Motor Company that operates three locations in Sioux Falls, SD.
Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:31:00 EST
Unearthed by the folks at Bring a Trailer, Frankman is a treasure trove of vintage, American iron. Their collection is full of the type of vehicles your irresponsible but cool uncle would show up with when you were a kid. Even better, these cars are priced at a level a working man can afford.
If you are lusting about a cruiser then Frankman has a 1956 Cadillac Deville Hard Top Sedan (pictured right) with 82,896 miles for $12,975. It's painted a color called Cascade Grey, but looks more like a pastel purple in pictures. While it needs some repairs to the accessories, the Caddy runs and drives, which is all you really need.
While the Dodge Journey crossover remains largely unchanged for the 2014 model year, there are two new flavors of the seven-passenger CUV on offer: the butch-looking Crossroad, and the SE V6 AWD, pictured right, which makes its debut today. As its name suggests, this new Journey model features the automaker's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, and offers all-wheel drive, which, with a starting price of $24,895 (*excluding $995 for destination), reduces the cost-of-entry for an AWD-equipped Journey by $1,800 versus the SXT AWD model. Scroll down for the official press blast.
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 14:33:00 EST
Chrysler has announced that it is recalling over 25,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs from several markets over concerns about brake feel under hard braking. The affected models are from the 2012 and 2013 model years, although the actual dates of production aren't available. 18,700 are in the US, while 825 are in Canada, 530 are in Mexico and a further 5,200 outside of North America.
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 13:30:00 EST
According to a statement, Chrysler was informed of the issue by a component supplier for the Ready Alert Braking system, which primes the brakes in anticipation of an emergency stop. A component in the system was restricting the flow of brake fluid too much.
As Chrysler is quick to point out, the way the brakes functioned was in compliance with regulations and there are no reported cases of drivers losing braking power. Instead, the issue rests with what Chrysler calls a pedal feel that "was not consistent with customer expectations." So it would seem Chrysler is being proactive and fixing a problem not because there's a legal issue at work, but simply because it doesn't feel the way the manufacturer wants it to. Well done.
Students and teachers at a Washington community college are up in arms following an order from Chrysler that it must destroy the pre-production Dodge Viper that was donated to the school's automotive technology program ten years ago.
Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:00:00 EST
The Viper in question is said to be the fourth off the production line, based on its VIN, and has had its emissions controls disabled, allowing its ten-cylinder engine to produce 600 horsepower, according to a report from Yahoo! Autos. As one of the first Vipers ever produced, the school's AT instructors claim it could be worth $250,000 in a museum, while a local news report purports that Jay Leno once tried to purchase the car, but the sale was prevented by Chrysler.
As pointed out by our friends at Autobytel, though, there are a lot of things in this story that don't quite add up. Immediately noticeable from the news report embedded below - which shows the car at South Puget Sound Community College - is that the car in question is not a 1992 model. When the Viper went on sale in 1992, it was only available as an RT/10 with a (flimsy) soft top, like the red car shown above. But the car featured in the report from KING5 News (inset image) is clearly a hardtop Viper GTS, which didn't enter production until 1996. And even if, as reported by a local newspaper, the hardtop featured is a prototype, it doesn't explain the lack of another iconic feature of the first Vipers - their distinctive side pipes. This kind of pokes holes in the school's argument that this is the fourth Viper to ever roll down the line. At best, this appears to be a pre-production Viper GTS.
Hidden amidst the overall very positive sales figures that Chrysler released earlier this week were a few disappointments, the biggest of which may be the Dodge Dart. While Dodge sales in general were down 11 percent from a year ago, the Dart's poor figures stood out from the rest - with 4,888 units sold, the Dart was down 37 percent in February.
Thu, 27 Feb 2014 13:00:00 EST
It comes as little surprise, then, that the automaker has announced layoffs at its assembly plant in Belvidere, IL. According to The Daily Herald, Dodge will temporarily lay off 325 workers "to balance vehicle supply with current sales demand." Put more simply, there are more Darts than buyers at the moment...
We don't think the Dodge Dart is a bad car, but it's playing in a market that offers a few standout sellers, like the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. According to AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan, as quoted by The Daily Herald, "great incentives on the Dodge Avenger" are also partly to blame for the Dart's poor showing.
Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.
Sun, 23 Feb 2014 16:00:00 EST
Jeep nearly sweeps the small SUV segment by itself, with its Compass, Patriot and 2.4-liter version of the new Cherokee, while the only midsize sedans listed by CR were the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey round out CR's condemnation of Chrysler.
Ford is taking heat as well, with the Taurus, Edge and their counterparts from Lincoln all listed as the worst vehicles in their respective segments. Toyota doesn't fare much better, with its Lexus IS, Scion iQ and tC also making the list.
When Chrysler rolled out the first-generation 200 to replace the Sebring range in 2010, it included replacements for both the sedan and the convertible. The Sebring Coupe, however, was left out of the mix. And now that the second-generation Chrysler 200 is descending upon us, Auburn Hills is paring things down even further. But this time, it's the convertible that reportedly isn't making the cut. Shame, too, since the rendering above shows what could have been quite an attractive droptop.
Sat, 22 Feb 2014 19:49:00 EST
As our compatriots at Edmunds point out, sales of the convertible model accounted for less than five percent of overall Chrysler 200 sales, and at those numbers, the considerable cost of engineering a new drop-top couldn't be justified. With the Toyota Camry Solara and Volkswagen Eos also gone from the market (well, the VW isn't gone quite yet), the discontinuation of the Chrysler 200 Convertible leaves the affordable convertible segment largely to the sportier likes of the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro and smaller European offerings like the Mini Cooper and VW Beetle.
The Chrysler 200 Convertible isn't the only derivative being left behind with the new model: so too is the Dodge Avenger. That will leave a glaring hole in the Dodge lineup, with nothing to bridge the gap between the compact Dart and the larger Charger. Whether the Dodge brand has any plans to replace the Avenger with another model, not to be based on the 200, remains to be seen.
The guys behind Motor Trend's monthly Roadkill series have collected nine of their favorite project cars from their videos and pitted them against each other in a battle royale to determine a winner. It's 44 minutes long, but it's completely worth the investment of time.
Tue, 18 Feb 2014 17:45:00 EST
The cars run the gamut from a 1973 Chevrolet Ramp Truck, a 1975 AMC Pacer and a legitimately impressive 1967 Chevy Camaro, and they are pitted against each other to see which is the fastest around an autocross course. The drivers include Roadkill's two hosts and Motor Trend's Johnny Lieberman and Carlos Lago. It's reminiscent of the best episodes of Top Gear and worth a watch.
So it's the weekend - the perfect time to relax. Grab your preferred beverage, get comfortable and enjoy 44 minutes of some seriously ratty but utterly cool project cars as they are throttled within an inch of their lives (or past it). Scroll down to check out the video.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ended its investigation of 153,817, 5.7-liter and 6.1-liter Hemi V8-powered 2006 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum models after reports of stalling. Chrysler has responded by granting a lifetime warranty on the fuel tanks for these vehicles.
Fri, 07 Feb 2014 11:00:00 EST
NHTSA received 299 reports of engines stalling while the models were stopped or driving at low speeds, and began an investigation. The government agency found that the control valve shutoff float in the V8s' 19-gallon fuel tank could malfunction if the fuel had too high of an ethanol content. In many cases, the valve would break in the open position, allowing the tank to be overfilled, which would then cause the cars to stall. However, there were no accidents reported, and the vehicles could be restarted immediately.
There will not be a recall on these vehicles because, "the condition represents a low risk to motor vehicle safety and is adequately addressed by Chrysler's extended warranty," NHTSA said to The Detroit News.
With the exception of some notable truck and van introductions, Chrysler brands have tended to use the Chicago Auto Show to bring out new special editions, pimp their aftermarket parts support or indulge in the occasional flight of fancy. That plan is holding true for 2014, as well. Cases in point are these new Satin Vapor Editions of the 2014-model-year Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 - all from SRT.
The Satin Vapor name may sound like a failed 1970s glam-rock band, or a pseudo-gynecological diagnosis from the Old West, but is, in fact, pretty much a tape-and-trim package for this trio of hi-po Mopars. 300, Challenger and Charger alike come shod with 20-inch aluminum wheels finished in Black Satin Vapor Chrome, and are accented with Satin Black bits aplenty. The 300 gets blacked-out mirrors, spoiler and roof; the Challenger applies it to mirrors and its fuel door; while the Charger has the stuff covering its roof, hood and Super Bee tail graphic.
Interiors of the cars have been mildly updated as well, with all three getting some combination of Nappa leather, ultra-suede and carbon-fiberish finishes.