G. Mark’s Answer
I'm going to give you an answer you might like but not one you might expect. The most important thing anyone actually needs to be good at automotive engineering is to enjoy it. If you're a person who actually likes machines and likes to tinker and likes to understand mechanical devices, you'll likely be good at automotive. I tell my students that folks tend to like what they're good at and they tend to be good at what they like. If you match a person's personality with a profession well, you'll do everyone a favor. Them, their customers and anyone who directly or indirectly benefits from their work. Lots of folks might talk about "mechanical aptitude" or a "knack for mathematics" or something similar, but think about it. Don't these things sort of go together with being a good mechanic or a good mechanical engineer? Take someone who wants to be working on or with machines and it would generally be more difficult to pry them away from the subject matter than to push them into it. So think about how great that works out?