In this paper, the advanced damage analysis of composite materials and structures made of continuous fibers embedded in a polymer matrix is addressed. The solution is based on the LMS Samtech Samcef finite element code, from Siemens PLM Software, which is now available in the Siemens NX CAE environment, with the specific focus of solving non-linear analysis problems for composites. Globally speaking, LMS Samtech Samcef is an implicit non-linear solver able to solve quasi-static and dynamic problems, with a comprehensive library of structural elements and kinematic joints.First, the sizing strategy based on the building block approach (pyramid of physical and virtual tests) is recalled. Applied for years in the aerospace industry, it is here extended to the automotive context. In this approach, the knowledge on the composite material and structure is built step by step from the coupon level up to the final full scale structure. In this paper, stages of the pyramid starting from the coupon level are considered, and the predictions obtained by numerical simulations are validated by test results.The non-linear analysis approach available in the LMS Samtech Samcef finite element code is then described. It is based on the continuum damage mechanics, and is used to study the progressive failure of composites in the plies and at their interface (delamination). The material models are described. The identification procedure for these damage models is also discussed: it is based on a very limited number of tests results at the coupon level. It is then shown how this information on the material behavior can be used at upper stages of the building block approach and so applied to larger scale structures and/or more complex load cases and different stacking sequences.The very good agreement obtained in this paper between simulation and test results on composite structures of increasing complexity tend to demonstrate that LMS Samtech Samcef can be used as a predictive numerical tool for the evaluation of the non-linear behavior of composites, including the progressive inter- and intra-laminar damage analysis.