The ability to make accurate decisions concerning early body-in-white architectures is critical to an automaker since these decisions often have long term cost and weight impacts. We address this need with a methodology which can be used to assist in body architecture decisions using process-based technical cost modeling (TCM) as a filter to evaluate alternate designs. Despite the data limitations of early design concepts, TCM can be used to identify key trends for cost-effectiveness between design variants. A compact body-in-white architecture will be used as a case study to illustrate this technique. The baseline steel structure will be compared to several alternate aluminum intensive structures in the context of production volume.