A noticeable degree of inconsistent forming behaviors has been observed for the 1st generation advanced high strength steels (AHSS) in production, and they appear to be associated with the inherent microstructural-level inhomogeneities for various AHSS. This indicates that the basic material property requirements and screening methods currently used for the mild steels and high strength low alloys (HSLA) are no longer sufficient for qualifying today's AHSS. In order to establish more relevant material acceptance criteria for AHSS, the fundamental understandings on key mechanical properties and microstructural features influencing the local formability of AHSS need to be developed. For this purpose, in this study, DP980 was selected as model steels and eight different types of DP980 sheet steels were acquired from various steel suppliers. Various experiments were then performed on the eight different DP980 steels such as chemical composition analysis, static tensile test, hole expansion test, channel forming test. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) pictures of the DP980 steels were also obtained, and image processing tools were then adopted to those SEM pictures in order to quantify their various microstructural features. The results show that all DP980 steels show large discrepancy in their performance and that the tensile properties and hole expansion properties of these steels do not correlate with their local formability. According to the results up to date, it is not possible to correlate the microstructural features alone to the macroscopically measured deformation behaviors. In addition to image analysis, other experiments (i.e., nano-indentation test) are also planned to quantify the individual phase properties of the various DP steels.