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If you've spent a moment scratching your head wondering about the relevancy of the LA Auto Show, The Detroit Free Press may be able to enlighten you on why the West Coast auto gathering matters. Despite Rhode Island's best efforts, California is still the most populous state in the Union, and one out of every 10 new vehicles sold in the US has a California registration. What's more, the state soaks up one third of all electric vehicle sales and a quarter of all hybrid sales in the nation.

It's no surprise, then, that analysts predict a total of 43 new vehicles will bow at this year's LA Auto Show with an electric motor on board. Those include the BMW i8 Spyder, Ford C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi among others. All told, the 2012 LA Auto Show will feature 24 world debuts and 25 North American premieres. Stay tuned for our live coverage from the show floor.