Dodge was purchased by the Chrysler Corporation in 1928. Chrysler pushed the brand to focus on trucks and high-performance vehicles. This tradition continued throughout the 1970s, with Dodge becoming well-known for “muscle cars” like the Barracuda, Challenger, Charger, and Dart – all of which were based on the Coronet platform. These vehicles typically featured big block V8 engines which produced massive amounts of power.
Unfortunately for Dodge, the late 1970s and the energy crisis shifted the focus towards fuel efficient vehicles – leading to the rise of the Japanese imports. Government loans in the early 1980s help keep Dodge afloat as the company re-envisioned itself. In 1984, Dodge made history by unveiling the Dodge Caravan. The Caravan became an immediate hit with its ability to seat seven, get decent fuel economy, and come in at a family friendly price. Dodge had created the mini-van.
Since then, Dodge was sold as part of the Daimler-Chrysler merger, but the company had difficulties remaining profitable. After Chrysler declared bankruptcy, Dodge was eventually picked up by Fiat in 2007. In 2009, Ram was spun off by Fiat into its own brand of trucks, becoming an individual entity no longer part of the Dodge line.
Today Dodge offers 12 models of vehicles for buyers, including the extremely popular Caravan. In addition, Dodge continues to offer the Durango (their heavy duty SUV), and several sport coupes and sedans like the Challenger and Charger. In 2013, Dodge is unveiling a redesigned Dodge Dart. The Dart is labeled a sedan (as it has four-doors) and comes in a variety of engine and performance packages. This is a new direction for Dodge, and a shift away from power and towards sharp steering, quickness, and agility.