Silvia Güllsdorf was born in Slovenia and was educated there at the School of Business and Economics. She later supplemented this with technical qualifications in Sweden.
Silvia came to Sweden in 1970 and started working at Volvo Cars on the car assembly line. She progressed quickly in her career and was promoted to work supervisor. A year or so later she went on to a position as production technician. In that role, she was responsible for the running in of the Volvo 700 Series at the two factories in Torslanda and Kalmar.
Her next project was to take over production engineering and responsibility for the interior, electrics and climate for introduction of the Volvo 850, which was built in Ghent, Belgium. This was the first time Volvo had ever launched the production of an entirely new car outside Sweden, so Silvia was part of the team that broke new ground.
After the successful running-in of the 850 Series, Silvia was given responsibility for managing quality improvements for products through contacts with customers and dealers. With this genuine experience, she was later appointed technical project manager for the second-generation Volvo XC70.
After the introduction of the Volvo XC70, Silvia was made manager of concept and demands in the complete-car area. There she was responsible for concept development and requirement specification for all new Volvo cars and future concept studies. She was, for instance, involved in the development of the Volvo SCC (Safety Concept Car).
In autumn 2002 Silvia Güllsdorf was appointed business project manager for the second-generation Volvo S80.
“I am still reaping the benefits of my years on the assembly line. When you’ve actually been involved in building the cars, it is easier to take the over-riding decisions. You see all the pieces of the complex puzzle that is involved in developing and producing an entirely new car model,” says Silvia Güllsdorf.
Experience from quality-enhancement work involving direct contact with both customers and dealers has also been valuable in her role as manager of a major car project.
“What’s important is to understand and be able to translate the customers’ demands and wishes into technical solutions that function,” explains Silvia Güllsdorf.