Laser welding is becoming more and more important in car-making. The ability of the laser to bundle light energy into ultra-thin beams which are even capable of welding metals is opening up new possibilities with regard to bodywork quality and stability, as the resultant weld seams are extremely narrow and precise. The highly amplified and bundled light beam in laser welding generates very high temperatures which melt the material on a focal point of around 0.5 to 1 millimetre in diameter. Because of its narrow working area, laser welding is particularly suitable for butt-welding of sheet metal panels. Its benefits lie in the higher strength of the joint and in new design possibilities offered.