New technology generally serves two main goals of the automotive industry: one is to enable vehicles to comply with various governmental regulations and the other is to provide a competitive edge in the market. The latter goal can either be served through improved manufacturing and design capabilities, such as computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing, or through improved product performance, such as anti-lock braking (ABS). Although safety features are sometimes customer driven, such as the increasing use of airbags and ABS, most are determined by regulations as outlined by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Other standards, set by the Environmental Protection Agency, determine acceptable levels of emissions and fuel consumption. State governments, such as in California, are also setting precedent standards, such as requiring manufacturers to offer zero-emission vehicles as a certain fraction of their sales in the state. The drive to apply new materials in the automobile stems from the need to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency. Topics discussed include: new lightweight materials; types of automotive materials; automotive composite applications; the role for composite materials in automotive applications; advantages and disadvantages of composite materials; material substitution economics; economic perspective; production economics; and composite materials production economics.