The car is king in Southern California, so what better place for stressed out auto executives to blow off some steam and take a break from their considerable recent troubles?

That’s exactly what they did this week at the Los Angeles auto show, where many car manufacturers laid out plans for electric, fuel cell and diesel cars that they say are key to reviving the ailing industry.

Volkswagen’s clean diesel Jetta TDI made the biggest splash, taking home the coveted “Green Car of the Year” award. It was the first time a diesel car has taken home the industry’s top environmental prize.

“It’s no longer an option for automakers to address the efficiency and environmental impact of new models – it’s an imperative,” Ron Cogan, editor of Green Car Journal, the trade magazine that awards the “Green Car of they Year” prize, said at the show. “It’s easy and justifiable to point the finger at the auto industry, but it’s also time for us to take responsibility for the choices we make as consumers.”

Among the other clean, green cars on display at the show were BMW’s all-electric Mini E, General Motors’ plug-in Chevrolet Volt and Hyundai’s Sonata hybrid sedan.