Automotive plastics with a low polarity, such as PE, PP, TPO, POM, PUR and PTFE typically require surface treatment when decoration is required. Metallic surfaces may also require cleaning to remove low molecular weight organic materials prior to decoration. Once the above-mentioned interior and exterior grades of substrate surfaces are cleaned and activated, printing, gluing and painting are possible without the use of adhesion-promoting primers. This paper describes the latest innovations in three-dimensional surface treating technology for plastics finishing which address the need to advance adhesion properties, increase product quality, and achieve environmental objectives within the automotive industry. These innovations include advanced thermal and non-thermal discharge treatment processes for raising the polarity of surfaces to be painted, bonded, decorated, laminated, printed or to have tape applied.