As early as the 1980s, Volvo formed a women's reference group composed of female employees. This group was called upon to test and assess new models at an early stage of development. Additionally, a women's focus group was convened in California for the development of the XC90 SUV, which was launched in 2002.
The idea for an all-female design team responsible for all decisions in developing a concept car was initiated in the fall of 2001. In June 2002, a small group of female Volvo employees delivered the concept and pre-sketches to Hans-Olov Olsson, Volvo President and CEO, and the executive management team, who gave the project a green light at the end of that same year.
For Volvo, and the auto industry, the YCC project marked a new way of thinking. Men typically dominate the car industry, and the YCC was the first project to employ a design team on which women made all of the development decisions.
"Of course, we're not doing anything that men couldn't do - we're all professionals in the car industry," said Maria Widell Christiansen, Design Manager of the YCC project.
However, this project was historical in its all-female approach. Let's take a closer look at the team.
Camilla Palmertz, Project Manager
Palmertz joined Volvo in 1995, and her positions with the company have included responsibility for the biomechanical aspects of crash-test analysis. Projects she has worked on include the inflatable curtain safety system and the development of a pregnant crash-test dummy.
Eva-Lisa Andersson, Project Manager
Andersson has been with Volvo since 1995, and was the co-manager of the YCC project, along with Palmertz. Prior to working on the YCC, she was the project director for a concept model that is still in development.
Elna Holmberg, Technical Project Manager
Dr. Holmberg was responsible for the technical development of the YCC. Previously, she had worked on aerodynamics and chassis development for new Volvo models.
Maria Widell Christiansen, Design Manager
Christiansen joined Volvo in 1986, and managed the overall administrative responsibility for the YCC design team of 25 people.
Tatiana Butovitsch Temm, Communications Manager
Temm has been with Volvo since 1989, and has previously worked in the safety communication department. For the YCC project, Temm coordinated communications within the project. She's also tasked with ensuring that the world sees the YCC.
Lena Ekelund, Deputy Technical Project Manager
Ekelund joined Volvo in 1986, working as a design engineer and project manager. For the YCC, she was responsible for assisting in the technical side of the project and for coordinating the design engineering team with Holmberg.
Anna Rosén, Exterior Designer
A relative newcomer to Volvo, Rosén joined the company in 2002, working with the Volvo design strategy prior to joining the YCC project. On this project, she was responsible for the YCC's exterior design
Cynthia Charwick, Interior Designer
Charwick started at Volvo in 1981, and has worked on interior designs of concept and production models. She used that experience to design the YCC's interior.
Maria Uggla, Color and Trim Designer
Uggla began work at Volvo in 2001, and designed the color and trim for the new Volvo S40 model and the V50. She also has worked on design and trim for other concept models in development.
For more information on the YCC and related topics, check out the links on the next page.