The automotive industry is in the process of reducing vehicle weight to meet the Federal mandate for gas mileage. Lightweight sheet molding compound (SMC) can make a significant contribution. However, to be competitive with other improved lightweight materials, several changes in the standard compression molding process must take place. This paper will present the current work in sheet molding compound processes at General Motors Manufacturing Development. It covers the processes of programmable force velocity control, molded coating, and mold heat transfer analysis; and the concepts on compounding of SMC sheet and of a multi-station, high productivity compression molding line.