A few thankful thoughts about the auto industry

LOS ANGELES — Heading here for the auto show lets me know that it’s almost time for Thanksgiving.

And while there are plenty of concerning matters in the auto industry, in the economy, in the world at large — there’s also a lot to be grateful for.

Most immediately, I’m thankful for a surprisingly newsy and significant show.

I’ve written a lot in this space about my concerns over the demise of international auto shows, like we used to see in Detroit, Shanghai, Frankfurt and a few other cities. By the criteria of a show that attracts global automaker CEOs from North America, Europe and Asia, Los Angeles may never have quite reached that apex. But it’s often been a show for significant reveals and important discussions centered around the state’s leadership in clean mobility and the legendary car culture of Southern California. And it does often draw industry leaders as well as the occasional celebrity endorser.

With the fifth-generation Toyota Prius, a set of new designs from Hyundai Motor Group and the presence of executives including new Volkswagen of America chief Pablo Di Si, this is the meatiest auto show since COVID-19 started — at least until CES in January.

A worthwhile show, an important Automotive News Congress with the likes of Jose Muñoz from Hyundai and Peter Rawlinson of Lucid, and a meetup with nearby family — that’s a trip to be thankful for.

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