Twinning-induced plasticity (TWIP) steels are a highly promising group of steels for the production of complex structural components in cold forming operations for car body manufacturing. In this work, the effect of cold rolling strain on the microstructure, mechanical properties and fracture characteristics of a TWIP steel sheet used for automobile body structure was studied by means of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, electron back-scattered diffraction technique, microhardness measurement, tensile test and fractography. TWIP steel sheets were cold rolled with reductions of 0, 15 and 30%. An increase of the cold rolling strain led to an increase of deformation twinning activity in certain favourably oriented grains and resulted in significant increase in ultimate tensile strength and hardness of TWIP steel. However, the ductility of TWIP steel significantly decreased with increasing degree of cold rolling strain. The increase in the ultimate tensile strength was almost linear with the increase in cold rolling strain. After cold rolling reduction of 30%, the ultimate tensile strength increased by approximately 50%, whereas the elongation decreased by approximately 85%. The size and depth of the dimples in the fracture surface decreased with the increase of the twin boundaries at 30% cold rolling strain, leading to highly limited plasticity through the tensile testing.