Ahead of this week's Los Angeles International Auto Show, a select group of industry titans is gathering at the Hammer Museum in Westwood Tuesday to discuss alternative fuels and new technologies for the auto industry.

Scheduled attendees include Henrik Fisker, CEO of Fisker Automotive, John Krafcik, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, Diarmuid O'Connell, vice president of business development of Tesla Motors, and Bill Reinert, national manager for advanced technology at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

We just hope that, before these big wigs discuss a fossil-fuel-free future for the auto industry, they don't fly into Santa Monica Airport in Gulfstreams and take Escalades the rest of the way to Westwood.

Actually, having such a pow-wow is in Los Angeles is a good sign. While the last Detroit International Auto Show was a comparative ghost town and many manufacturers pulled out of Tokyo's show as well, Los Angeles' show has a lot of buzz. And it has the future of the automobile written all over it. Plenty of hybrids and fuel-sipping models are scheduled to debut at the Los Angeles Convention Center this week.

And, as it turns out, some of those big-wigs wouldn't need to fly in at all — they're based in SoCal: Fisker, Hyundai and part of Toyota's advanced technology unit are all here. Ideas and tech bred in the West Coast could jump-start a new era for the global car business. Someday we might look back at this week as a turning point for the American auto industry.

LA Weekly