For years, metals and their alloys are the primary sources for all types of general and structural applications. In other words, metals like Copper, Zinc, Aluminum, Cast Iron etc. dominated the world for centuries and got applications in fields like automotive components, aerospace engineering, sports and marine industries. But, as these metals and alloys are heavy in weight and also due to high manufacturing cost, the question of reducing the overall weight and cost of the structures without affecting the performance has raised and hence lightweight materials like plastics and composites have come into the picture. In this paper, Sheet molded compound composites have been reviewed in terms of characteristics, manufacturing, research challenges and way forward. © TJPRC Pvt. Ltd.