The automotive industry is facing the globalization challenge being subject to significant demands and regulations, especially in terms of the environment and road safety. The automotive industry must present new approaches especially in the automotive design process to produce new products with the focus to lightweight products, which arc least sensitive to disturbing factors of manufacturing and environment to make surface transport safer, more effective and competitive. In recent years there is a growing interest in the automotive industry, especially in the design process due to the effectiveness of the optimization issues for improving the quality characteristics of the products. In traditional approach, initial concept design is often based on experience of designers and it includes uncertainties which may cause unexpected shortcomings during the development phase and the life of the product. The shortcomings of traditional approaches in vehicle design can be handled by defining the optimal topology as initial design concept and by using artificial intelligence techniques and heuristic optimization approaches such that uncertainties can be prevented with less computational efforts. The optimal structure should be defined at early design stages using topology design approach, since another important problem is due to initial design which is highly depend on experience and skill of designer. Hybrid artificial intelligence and heuristic design optimization approaches must be implemented to produce light weight vehicles satisfying optimal initial design criteria. The objective of this paper is to present topology design, artificial intelligence and heuristic optimization concepts and to show how these approaches arc used to provide a integrated frame for designer in the automotive industry.