Dodge was founded in 1900 by Horace and John Dodge (The Dodge Brothers). It was initially known as the Dodge Brothers Company and used to sell bicycles, but then within two years it became a major supplier of axles, engines, and transmissions to the automobile industry. The company started by producing chassis and engines for the Ford Motor Company and Olds Motor Vehicle Company. However, with the stress and demands of the booming automobile industry, the brothers decided to tinker with the idea of manufacturing their own line of cars because they were ‘tired of being carried around in Henry Ford’s vest pocket.’
Therefore, after years of building cars for the Ford Motor Company, the Dodge brothers worked on building their own company and introduced their first car, Model 30 on Nov 14th, 1914. By the end of the year, 249 vehicles were built, thus the company shifted its entire interest in manufacturing automobiles only. By 1916, the vehicles built by the Dodge brothers were ranked second in overall sales for American cars, behind only the Ford Model T.
John and Horace Dodge in one of their 1914 Dodge Brothers Touring Cars
In 1928, Dodge was sold to Chrysler and has been part of the giant car manufacturer ever since. For most of its history Dodge has been associated with trucks, commercial vehicles and passenger cars. The company survived through the 1973 oil crisis and 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 U.S. Government and its subsequent Chapter 11 bankruptcy and acquisition by Fiat. It has gone on to produce trucks, minivans, performance vehicles and family cars, sharing platforms with Chrysler.
Since 1914, the Dodge logo has used different logos that had little in common. Besides “Dodge,” it has used different logos depending on the model and vehicle purpose. Trucks, passenger cars and performance vehicles typically held different logos on grills. From 1914 to 1927, some vehicles were decorated with the letters D and B placed inside two triangles that resembled of a Jewish Star of David. In 1932 Dodge used a leaping ram as a hood ornament for the first time. However, it did not become the company’s logo at the time as Dodge went on to use a three-point deltoid on maroon background, embedded into a silver circle with ‘Dodge Division’ words carved in it.
In 1955, Dodge adopted two overlapping arrows, painted red and blue and having different shapes, as a logo. The symbolism of the logo was- speed, a focus on the future and reliability.
In 1962, Dodge logo became monochrome again but, this time, silver-blue. The foundation of the logo became three “angles of triangles” which were divorced from each other. Formally, the logo turned into the most stable figure, a triangle, but the free space inside it added dynamics and freedom to the logo.
In the early 1960s Dodge used Chrysler’s Pentastar, but painted it red to avoid confusion with the parental company that had a blue badge. The manufacturer used a ram as the company’s symbol on trucks through many years, and adopted it as a common logo in 1993. The ram’s head logo appeared on the Challenger, from 2008-2010, on the hood, wheel center caps and steering wheel.
The current version of the Dodge logo features the company’s name in uppercase characters with a pair of red stripes. These stripes are intended to symbolize racing, high- performance, speed and agility; while advancing an ideal of “forever young” attitude of the brand. Its silver colors stand for purity, dignity, sophistication and grandeur of Dodge, whereas the red color depicts passion, energy, intimacy and excitement.
Here are images of the various described logos: