An assessment of automobile painting at General Motor's Lake Orion, Michigan, USA assembly facility from a life cycle perspective was conducted. The Orion Facility produces the new Oldsmobile Aurora and Buick Riviera models. Improvements in on-site pollution prevention, energy conservation and regulatory barriers to technology innovation were identified. The environmental implications of auto body substrate material choice were analyzed. A life cycle inventory framework was developed for paint suppliers and other parts of the auto painting life cycle. An Alternative Regulatory System was proposed for the entire U.S. auto industry that will, if implemented, facilitate the integration of environmental management into core business strategies and planning.