Computer-aided product development has become indispensable in many branches of industry, with the discipline of computer-aided design in particular playing a crucial role in the development processes of automotive products. Due to a multitude of changing boundary conditions and requirements (e.g. cost reduction, shorter cycle time for development and manufacturing) automotive development processes have to be enhanced. In order to be able to counteract the constantly changing requirements, a further development in the field of computer-aided design must take place. This further development is based on knowledge which is implemented as automation procedures into existing CAD systems. In this context, this paper gives insights into the CAx disciplines used in automotive development processes, lists different levels of knowledge-based automation methods and discusses the potentials, limits and challenges of CAD-automation. Furthermore, selected use-cases of knowledge-based CAD-automation in automotive projects are shown.