Dodge

At the start of the 1900’s, the Dodge brothers had moved and set up business in Detroit where they produced transmissions briefly for Ransom E. Olds, then supplied Ford with chassis. They ventured into car production and built their first Dodge “Old Betsy” in 1914, which became an instant success. In February 1903 the Dodge Brothers were contracted to supply Henry Ford with chassis’, engines, transmissions and axles. This resulted in their working exclusively for Ford and owning 100 shares in the newly formed Ford Motor Company. The first chassis was delivered by horse-drawn hay racks. Ford often complained that the Dodge workers turned out shoddy products because they were paid by the piece. Despite these problems, he ordered another 755 engines for delivery in January through May 1904, and insisted on the right to order 500 more by early April. The Dodge’s continued to supply Ford until 1914 and retained their shares in the company which became very profitable for them. Owning a thirty-acre site in Hamtramck, in 1910 the Dodge brothers began building a new plant. They were concerned about their total dependence on one customer and also felt it was time to expand. Furthermore, they had decided to manufacture and assemble their own vehicles.

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