The automotive industry is undergoing a technological revolution unparalleled since its infancy. Increased foreign competition, particularly in terms of product cost, has created a need for technological innovation both in automotive products and in automotive manufacturing and assembly processes. Applied mechanics research has become a critical element in many of the areas which can promote improved products and process efficiency. Several major research programs which are underway at General Motors will be reviewed and used to motivate the discussion of important applied mechanics problems. Research examples will include automated vehicle design technology, advanced materials, and mechanics of manufacturing processes. Suggested research spans the entire range of the applied mechanics field, from basic theory to numerical applications. Experimental research is as vital to further progress as is analytical research. Considerably more emphasis should be given to relating mechanical performance of the finished product to its fabrication.

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