Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is typically used early in the product development cycle. During the early design phase some form of analysis is used to select from various materials and design concepts. The results can reduce the time and cost associated with the iterative design process. But the benefits of powerful Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools, such as FEA do not end at design. FEA can be used throughout product development cycle to help solve performance, manufacturing, and quality issues.This paper will present a new methodology for the implementation of FEA in the product development cycle. By making FEA an integral part of the design update process, ‘what’ if questions can be asked at any stage of development. The use of FEA on automotive interior trim components at various stages of product development is described including several case examples of analyses used during concept, prototype and production phases.