There was a time when the future of the automobile was exhibited to the public as a "concept." A concept vehicle was truly a vision of the future for which a few components would be present in new models within a few years later. Others were just straight out of science fiction with none of the concept's ideas brought to market at all.
For the record, these trucks are no longer called "Dodge." Since 2009, Ram Trucks had to deal with customers who still had no clue that not only this is a stand-alone brand focused on pickup trucks and other commercial vehicles for FCA's North American markets. Then again, they don't read the industry trade publications that have tracked Ram's successes in pickup truck sales against its Ford and General Motors rivals.
I know that you cringe over hybrid gas-electric driven automobiles. It is easy to blame Toyota and the popular acceptance of the Prius during its second generation. That particular vehicle was the darling of Hollywood at the time. How many of your favorite celebrities owned a second-generation Prius?
Think about the idea of intention and purpose. A designer, an engineer, and an executive – oh, yes, let's not forget the folks in accounting – are all involved in the process of creating a vehicle. Once everyone signs off on it, they have to campaign for its success. Even the marketing folks have to be on board with selling it to everyone – dealerships, the communications folks, and, ultimately, the consumer.
The Nuovo Cinquecento was an interesting piece of automotive culture. It's arrival into the European market in 2007 sparked a revival for the brand with its retro design onto a modern platform. Fiat was turning around and creating better vehicles for the markets it served by that time. The 500 was indeed the one layer of the cake that truly made it great.