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Dodge kills Ram logo

Ram rammed: Chrysler will remove the Dodge ram logo from its cars.

Famed Dodge Ram logo to disappear from historic US brand’s cars and dealerships

7 Jun 2010

CHRYSLER has revealed a controversial new Dodge logo that does away with the historic North American brand’s famed ram’s head logo.

The move follows the formal separation of Dodge passenger cars from the Ram truck range in the US, as part of Chrysler’s drive to split its Dodge brand into two distinct franchises.

Chrysler last week said new Dodge brand logo, which features the ‘DODGE’ name with a pair of simple red racing stripes to suggest “speed and agility”, will be used only for communications, advertising, internet and merchandising purposes, and will not appear on Dodge vehicles or in Dodge dealership signage.

However, Dodge brand CEO Ralph Gilles has told Automotive News the new Dodge logo will debut on the next-generation 2011 Dodge Charger sedan, before being rolled out across all Dodge models as they are updated.

Chrysler Australia spokesman Jerry Stamoulis said that local Dodge dealership signage would not change, but did not rule out the possibility the new Dodge logo - which some US Dodge fans have labelled boring - could be rolled out in Australia, where Chrysler’s Ram models are not officially sold.

“The idea is the new logo will eventually be for Dodge cars and the ram logo will be used exclusively for Ram trucks, which we don’t sell here,” he said.

“We expect to learn more about the new branding strategy for Dodge later this year.”

 center imageFrom top: Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger.

Chrysler has been working to separate its Dodge car and truck business for some time, but last week issued a statement to clarify its intentions for the new logo, which was revealed in May and borrows its red racing stripes from Dodge’s SRT8 performance models.

“Dodge designers sketched the new logo after Dodge and Ram Truck were clearly defined as separate brands with their own identities and consumers, each needing a logo that represents the character of the brand,” said Chrysler.

“As the Dodge brand redefines itself with new lifestyle packages, new ads, events and sponsorships, and a slew of upcoming new products, it's using its brand name to send a clear message that its ‘forever young’ attitude and performance-driven history will drive the brand into the future.” Released here by the Chrysler group in August 2006 after a 30-year hiatus from Australia, the local Dodge brand currently includes the small Caliber hatchback, the compact Nitro SUV, the mid-size Avenger sedan and the Journey people-mover.

Dodge’s now-famous ram’s head logo dates back to 1932 – four years after the Dodge brothers sold the brand to Chrysler – when a leaping ram bonnet mascot first joined the original Dodge Brothers logo, which featured two interlocking triangles forming a six-pointed star and the ‘DB’ symbol in the middle, encircled by the words “Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicles”.

It was streamlined from 1940 and by 1951 only the head – complete with curving horns – remained on both Dodge cars trucks, which were the last to use the original ram logo in 1950.

Various logos were applied to Dodge vehicles until after the ram’s head logo returned in 1973 for the Dodge Bighorn heavy-duty tractor, including the Dodge Crest from 1941, the Dodge Fratzog from 1962 and Chrysler’s own Pentastar in 1982.

Dodge’s current ram logo appeared in 1993, before gracing all Dodge vehicles except the Viper sportscar from 1996, when Chrysler went international with Dodge.

The ram logo remains unchanged for Chrysler’s newly independent Ram Trucks division, which comprises the Ram 1500, Ram Heavy Duty, Ran cab-chassis and mid-size Dakota. The fourth-generation Dodge Ram – now known simply as the Ram 1500 – was released in 2008.

The next-generation Charger will be the first to appear with the Dodge’s new ramless emblem (without the red slashes), followed by the new versions of the Caliber, Challenger, Avenger, Nitro and Journey, plus an all-new seven-seat crossover wagon to replace the Durango SUV.

The latter will be based on the same platform as Jeep’s redesigned Grand Cherokee, which launches in North America on July 1 as the next new model from the born-again Chrysler group.

While the Chrysler brand itself will disappear from Europe this year, both the Dodge Caliber and Nitro were discontinued in the UK last month due to poor sales.

Meantime, Dodge’s left-hand drive-only Challenger coupe recently received Australian Design Rule approval for low-volume release locally, bringing the number of outlets for locally converted right-hand drive versions of the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang rival to two.

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