This article reviews theoretical and practical aspects of electrical discharge plasma treatment for automotive parts at atmospheric pressure. Paints and bonding compounds adhere poorly to polyolefins because of their intrinsic non-polar chemical structure. Therefore, these materials require pretreatment before bonding and finishing to improve their adhesive properties. The electrical discharge plasma treatment at atmospheric pressure offers several advantages to automotive suppliers, such as the high treatment level, its repeatability and cost effectiveness, versatility of in-line processing, and the environmentally-safe nature of the process. Despite its increasing use, industry standards for surface treatment of plastic parts have not been developed.