A computer-controlled body panel testing machine has been used to quantify stiffness and dent resistance of body panels at Chrysler. The influence of yield strength and local reinforcement on the mechanical behavior of automotive door panels has been investigated. Medium strength steels in the range of 210 -240 MPa yield strength have produced significant improvements in dent resistance over a 160 MPa yield strength steel. Considerable improvements in dent resistance can also be attributed to the use of local, adhesively attached, glass fiber reinforcement patches. The effects of boundary conditions and panel shape on stiffness and dent resistance are illustrated in this application.