Engineering relationships between high technology semiconductor manufacturers and automotive manufacturers are becoming increasingly important as the amount of electronics on an automobile increases dramatically in the 1980’s. Understanding of the economic, technological, chronological and production relationships is outlined as it effects design of automotive electronic systems. The most used semiconductor technologies are reviewed with data on technical and economical guidelines. Methods of estimating circuit cost using defect density and chip complexity are illustrated. Partitioning and development timing are important aspects of system design and along with product engineering issues require close communication.