Horace and John Dodge founded the Dodge Brothers Company in Detroit in 1900, and quickly found work manufacturing precision engine and chassis components for the city's growing number of automobile firms. Chief among these customers were the established Olds Motor Vehicle Company and the new Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford selected the Dodge brothers to supply a wide range of components for his original Model A (1903–04) that included the complete chassis; thus Ford needed to add only the body and wheels to finish the cars. Henry offered the Dodge brothers a 10% share in his new company in return for $10,000 worth of goods.
The first machine shop where the brothers worked as parts suppliers for Olds and Ford was located at the Boydell Building on Beaubien Street at Lafayette. This location was replaced by a larger facility at Hastings Street and Monroe Avenue, which is now a parking garage for the Greektown Casino Hotel (Hastings Street at this location has been renamed Chrysler Service Drive). By 1910 the Dodge Main factory was built in Hamtramck, where it remained until 1979.