The practice of metal ion implantation is currently experiencing a simplification in the technology and an increase in the beam current available for industrial use. The availability of large cathodic are implantation units generating metal ions with great throughput permits the question of the processing rate and the economics of ion implantation to be re-visited. In the present work, an assessment is presented of the effect of cost per unit area of implantation on the applicability of the process to solving problems associated with reducing auto emissions and/or increasing fuel efficiency. Consideration is given to metal ion implantation to allow 1) weight reduction by substituting aluminum and other light materials for steel, ii) protection of components from the corrosive effect of new fuels such as methanol, and, iii) alteration of the optical properties of glass including increasing transmission in the visible and/or reduction in the infrared or ultraviolet. The cost of implantation using mass separation accelerators is of the order $10,000 - $100,000/m2, which is acceptable to the medical industry. As a spin-off to the US Fusion program, the cathodic arc metal ion implantation systems developed by ISM Technologies reduce the cost drastically, to the range $10 - $100/m2 necessary to penetrate the automotive industry.