The structure of an automobile offers a formidale challenge to the analyst who wishes to predict its response using numerical methods and the digital computer. Accurate representation of geometry, materials, and boundary conditions with discretized models may be an intrinsically uneconomic objective compared with physical testing in most practical applications.This paper reviews the success of efforts to predict linear static, dynamic, and nonlinear transient behavior of car components and structural systems. It relates the analysis accuracy to essential features of car structure. It shows how these features, the existing level of quality control of structural characteristics during fabrication and assembly and the complexity of geometry, conspire to make accurate simulation using current practices unnecessarily costly, in dollars and time. It reviews work currently being done to justify broader use of numerical methods in the industry.