Advanced fiber reinforced composites offer potential structural mass reduction opportunities due to their many unique properties. Because of major differences in the mechanics of these materials compared with conventional metals, the introduction of advanced composites will have a radical impact on the automotive structural design process. It will require intensive interaction between manufacturing, material and analysis disciplines. In the past, finite element modeling has played an important role in the design analysis of structures composed of conventional materials. This paper discusses a modified finite element analysis procedure appropriate for interaction with an automotive structural composite design program. It is based on SQ5 program which has been modified to use the Tsai-Wu tensor polynomial lamina strain failure criterion.