Expanding world economic prosperity and probable peaking of conventional petroleum production in the coming decades requires efforts to increase the efficiency of, and the development of alternatives to, petroleum-based fuels used in automotive transportation. North America has been aggressively pursuing both approaches for over ten years. Mainly as a result of lower prices due to global sourcing, magnesium has recently emerged as a serious candidate for lightweighting, and thus increasing the fuel efficiency of, automotive transportation. Automotive vehicles produced in North America currently use more Mg than vehicles produced elsewhere in the world, but the amounts per vehicle are very small in comparison to other materials such as steel, aluminum and plastics. The reasons, besides price, are primarily a less-developed state of technology for Mg in automotive transportation applications and lack of familiarity by the vehicle manufacturers with the material. This paper reviews some publicly-known, recent, present and future North American research and development activities in Mg for automotive applications.