The authors developed a high-reliability low-cost gold-plated connector for automobiles. The connector is covered with three plated layers, nickel, palladium-nickel alloy, and gold. The three-layer plating helps to reduce the required thickness of gold. This paper describes the reasons why palladium-nickel plating was adopted and compares the corrosion resistance, oxidation resistance and wear resistance of three-layer-plated materials with those of conventional gold-plated materials. In addition, the characterisitics of three-layer-plated connectors were compared with those of conventional gold-plated connectors. It was found that the reliability of three-layer-plated connectors was as high as that of conventional gold-plated connectors.