The most effective time to optimize an automotive body panel is early in its development. A full size clay model is one of these initial stages.The computer program developed minimizes the panel thickness and still maintains corporate quality levels. Stiffness, dent resistance, oil canning, and springback are the corporate quality requirements considered in this analysis. The program also generates weight and cost ratios for alternate material comparisons. This technique will not only reduce cost and weight, but also help guarantee customer satisfaction.