New advanced thermal spray technology allows providing wear resistant coatings on the cylinder surface of aluminum or magnesium engines. The obtained special surface topography after the finishing allows to decrease significantly the coefficient of friction and to decrease the fuel consumption of an amount of 2 to 4%. Engine tests on diesel and gasoline engines have confirmed the value of this technology regarding the aspect of energy saving. This coating technology is introduced since 5 years in Europe by the manufacturing of high power diesel and gasoline engines respectively. The combination of different MMC coating materials allows the development of new specific solutions for each type of engine. Coatings with improved corrosion resistance and abrasion resistance were also developed and are available now. A brief overview on other applications of thermal spraying in the automotive industry will be also given. The MMC coating shows interesting perspectives for its use in diesel engines equipped with EGR systems to reduce the wear of the cylinder bores.