A Brief history of Dodge
1901 saw two brothers John Francis Dodge and Horace Elgin Dodge move their bycicle and machine factory from Ontario to Detroit, the motor city. The two brothers already made components for the automotive industry and after the move their business moved from strength to strength. Manufacturing bearings and other motor components the two brothers were approached in 1902 by a certain Henry Ford who was looking for investment into a new motor company, the brothers duly obliged and offered not only investment, but also offered to supply various automotive parts. This arrangement proved not only successful but extremely profitable and by 1913 the Dodge brothers were supplying Henry Ford with the chassis, suspension, brakes, engines and transmissions for his vehicles.
Bolstered by their success John and Horace launched there own car manufacturing plant and the Dodge brand was born in 1914. The first car the Dodge brothers launched was the “Old Betsy”, tough and rugged, just under 250 cars were manufactured in the first year. A further boost came in the form of winning a court case against their old friend Henry Ford, Ford lost the case and as a result the brothers received a substantial payment that had been witheld from shareholders. With this Dodge expanded their business into the manufacture of trucks for use during World War I and after the war finished, for commercial use.
The dodge brothers only held on to their company for a further seven years after the end of the war and in 1925 the company was sold to Dillon, Read and Company for 148 million dollars, three years after that in 1928 the company again changed hands and was bought by the Chrysler Corporation.
Production of Dodge vehicles in europe was restricted mainly to the light commercial vehicle sector and indeed the first passenger car that was seen in the UK came in the form of the Dodge Neon SRT-4 that was branded as the Chrysler Neon, this vehicle was launched in the mid 2000's.
Dodge has recently reintroduced itself to the UK market with the Avenger, the Nitro and the Caliber.