This paper focuses on a rapid simulation methodology for sheet metal forming, using AutoForm™ software, for an auto-body panel. An engine hood is selected as a sample part. Simulation of the whole process cycle, including drawing, cutting and flanging is presented generally. According to the required outer surface forming quality, the dominant parameter is determined firstly from various parameters using AutoForm™ sigma module. The optimisation of the dominant parameters is then performed to obtain the best result. This methodology can decrease the optimisation time and predict the most crucial parameter in the forming process for design engineers, which can dramatically reduce the lead time of automobile industries.