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(from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) Dodge, formally the Dodge Division of Chrysler Group LLC is a brand of automobiles, minivans, and sport utility vehicles manufactured by Chrysler Group LLC, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Dodge vehicles presently include the lower-priced badge variants of Chrysler-badged vehicles as well as performance cars, though for much of its existence Dodge was Chrysler's mid-priced brand above Plymouth.
Founded as the Dodge Brothers Company by brothers Horace Elgin Dodge and John Francis Dodge in 1900, Dodge was originally a supplier of parts and assemblies for Detroit-based automakers and began building complete automobiles in 1915, predating the founding of Chrysler Corporation. The Dodge brothers died suddenly in 1920 and the company was sold to Dillon, Read & Co. in 1925 before being sold to Chrysler in 1928. Dodge vehicles mainly consisted of trucks and full-sized passenger cars through the 1970s, though it did make some inroads into the compact car market during this time. The 1973 oil crisis and its subsequent impact on the American automobile industry led Chrysler to develop the K platform of compact to midsize cars for the 1981 model year. The K platform and its derivatives are credited with reviving Chrysler's business in the 1980s; one such derivative became the Dodge Caravan, which is considered to be the first modern minivan and the best-selling minivan of all time.
The Dodge brand has withstood the multiple ownership changes at Chrysler from 1998–2009, including its short-lived merger with Daimler-Benz AG from 1998–2007, its subsequent sale to Cerberus Capital Management, its 2009 bailout by the United States government, and its subsequent Chapter 11 bankruptcy and acquisition by Fiat.