Purpose: of this paper: The main objectives of this paper are to give an overview about the application of various kinds of high strength steels and aluminium alloys in the automotive industry to produce lightweight car body elements to achieve significant reductions in harmful emissions to provide more environmental friendly vehicles which simultaneously fulfils the increased safety requirements, too. In these respects, both high strength automotive steels (e.g. DP, TRIP, TWIP and HPF steels), as well as high strength aluminium alloys (e.g. AA6082, AA7075, etc.) are more and more widely applied in the vehicle manufacturing. Design/methodology/approach: The contradiction between the increased strength and lower formability of these high strength metallic materials is one of the main issues in their application in the automotive industry. Therefore, in this paper primary focus will be placed on the formability properties of these materials, concerning first of all the limits of formability in various cold and hot forming conditions. To fully utilize the potentials of these materials in forming processes the numerical modelling of forming with FEM simulation is of utmost importance. Findings: Recently in the automotive industry the Hot Press Forming of high strength boron-alloyed manganese steels become an industrially established process, while the Hot Forming and Quenching (HFQ) of artificially ageing high strength aluminium alloys now become the focus of scientific research. The paper will analyse the main process parameters and gives comparisons of automotive applications. Research limitations/implications: There are still certain shortages of industrial applications, namely the limits of economic cycle times for economical mass production which needs further research activities in these fields. Practical implications: Since both the materials mentioned above and the forming processes usually applied, furthermore the available benefits are extremely important for the automotive industry these results have significant practical involvement. Originality/value: The applied research methods and the introduced new findings will show the originality of the paper.