For release March 2, 2004
Your Concept Car - a project with women in the driver's seat
Following are some of the key members of Volvo Car Corporation's Your Concept Car (YCC) development team and their thoughts on the car and the concept:
Camilla Palmertz, Project Manager
"Our aim is that you should feel great in this car."
Camilla Palmertz has been with the YCC project right from the start. Palmertz joined Volvo in 1995. Her previous positions have included responsibility for the biomechanical aspects of crash-test analysis, the design of the Inflatable Curtain safety system and the development of the pregnant crash-test dummy.
Storage solutions were a key aspect of the YCC project for Palmertz. She thinks the back seat of a car should be able to transport a good deal of cargo and that it should be easy to load and unload. The YCC's gull-wing doors and fold-down back seats have been instrumental in meeting this requirement.
Eva-Lisa Andersson, Project Manager
"A car is a very technical product. Still, your buy is based on emotions."
Eva-Lisa Andersson undertook joint leadership of the YCC project with Camilla Palmertz. Andersson has been with Volvo since 1985. Before the YCC project, she was Project Director, Concept, for a Volvo model still in development.
As she sees it, a car should make life easier, not more complicated. For her, storage and ergonomics have been particularly important aspects of the YCC's development. She is also proud of the fact that the YCC has successfully combined sportiness with elegance.
Dr. Elna Holmberg, Technical Project Manager
"A car is your choice. Therefore, it is very important that you can put your demands and wishes into it."
Dr. Elna Holmberg was responsible for the technical development of the YCC. Her previous work at Volvo has included aerodynamics and chassis development for new models.
Holmberg gave high priority to functions that customers consider most important and to finding simple, smart solutions. She is particularly pleased with the entry solutions and the Ergovision system, both of which she sees as being central to the YCC's individuality and strong customer focus.
Maria Widell Christiansen, Design Manager
"We are convinced that this car also, definitely, appeals to men."
Maria Widell Christiansen joined Volvo in 1986. For the YCC project, she held overall administrative responsibility for the 25-member design team.
Throughout the project, she went to great lengths to draw on all the concept car expertise at Volvo. She sees the idea of offering a range of interchangeable seat tops and carpets as the most extraordinary thing about the YCC - a whole new dimension for the car industry and an idea that extends our conception of what a car is.
Tatiana Butovitsch Temm, Communications Manager
"The hallmark of a good idea is that people ask, 'Why this hasn't been done before?'"
As well as responsibility for public relations and project information, Tatiana Butovitsch Temm co-ordinated communication within the project itself and looked at features from a communications aspect. Another of her tasks is to make sure the YCC gets shown to the world, to collect reactions from the public and the media and bring them to Volvo Car Corporation.
Temm is particularly pleased with the Autopark system that, she says, makes her life easier and makes her look good at the same time. She has worked at Volvo since 1989 in Safety Communication and as a managing editor.
Lena Ekelund, Deputy Technical Project Manager
"In the YCC, we have retained our focus on customer needs, not compromised it in favour of flashy technical solutions."
Lena Ekelund shared responsibility with Elna Holmberg for the technical side of the project and for co-ordinating the design engineering team. Ekelund has been with Volvo since 1986, working as a design engineer and in project management.
She considers the real strength of the YCC project has been that it remained focused on customer needs. Frequently, the solutions needed were relatively simple, such as adapting the head restraint to accommodate a pony-tail and using the eye symbol to indicate optimum line of vision. A driving force in Lena's work is the idea that ingenuity and simplicity go hand in hand.
Anna Rosèn, Exterior Designer
"We wanted to create a beautiful car. Not brutal, but tough."
Anna Rosèn was responsible for the YCC's exterior design. She aimed throughout to make it just as appealing as possible, combining the practical elements with a look that would make the YCC irresistible. In her view, design must arouse emotions, because buying a car always involves an emotional response.
Rosèn joined Volvo in 2002. Before the YCC project, she worked with Volvo design strategy.
Cynthia Charwick, Interior Designer
"The first impression you get of the car is a feeling of grace and space."
Since she joined Volvo in 1981, Cynthia Charwick has worked on interior design of both concept cars and production models.
Her key objectives on the YCC were to free up more space for storage and to make it the YCC interior as convenient and uncomplicated as possible. The fact that this was such a strongly customer-oriented project, based on what women said they wanted, added a whole new dimension for Charwick.
Maria Uggla, Colour and Trim Designer
"One way of being in control is that you have the opportunity to influence your environment."
Maria Uggla has worked at Volvo since 2001. Her past projects include colour and trim for the new S40 and V50 and work at the concept stage for other models in development.
Her responsibilities in the YCC project included ensuring harmony between the exterior styling and the car interior, through a judicious choice of colours, materials and lighting.
"I wanted to achieve a light interior in the Scandinavian tradition, using honest materials and unexpected solutions," she said.
To make the YCC more personal and individual, the customer has the choice of eight interchangeable upholstery options, each with its own matching carpet in materials more normally associated with home interiors - such as wool and linen.
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