Agustin Lopez-Diaz, 43
Senior vice president total customer satisfaction, quality and HSE, Faurecia
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
This is my first job in the automotive industry. I believe this industry will play an exceptional role in the future development of humankind. The advancement in transportation, the reduction of CO2 and the overall improvement of life on board, what we call the cockpit of the future, will have a tremendous impact on upcoming generations. Adding my two cents to make our products, processes and services better, safer, cheaper and more reliable inspires me. That’s why I wake up early and go to bed late.
Born: Puebla, Mexico
Languages: Spanish, English, French
Education: Post-graduate program focused on negotiation, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA; bachelor’s degree in engineering and business administration, Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
Your greatest achievement?
Our second-largest customer recently called me to congratulate Faurecia on reducing defects by nearly 70 percent in 18 months. He told me there is no other company he trusts more than us. Then, he asked if he could participate in our service mindset program. Achieving that level of true partnership and loyalty makes all of our efforts worth it. Personally, I’m very proud of my kids. Raising children isn’t easy, especially during these volatile times. However, watching my kids grow and seeing them become more aware of social issues and willing to do their part to create a better society, makes me very happy. Of course, my wife, Maru, played the biggest part in shaping them into such great human beings. I could not be where I am without her.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
Frankly, there are many. However, I see them as learning opportunities. There are no losers, only learners. One example stands out: When I moved from my last job in the U.S. to Spain I didn’t dig deep enough into the company’s financial state. I found out later it was barely staying afloat. It taught me that no matter the circumstances, you can always recover. Also, do your best to better understand all the potential risks associated with a situation before committing to something big. Looking back, I have no regrets. In fact, I now see this period as if I was part of a movie. Any good movie puts its main actor through challenges until there’s a happy end.
What is your current challenge at work?
Clearly, it’s the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought everyone to their knees. We are all focused on restarting as quickly as possible without compromising the team’s health and safety.
2013-2018: Vice president of quality, technical regulations and standard business improvement, General Electric, Baden, Switzerland
2011-2012: Vice president for supply chain, planning and QPEX, Vestas, Europe Middle East Africa region, Vestas, Madrid, Spain/Hamburg, Germany
2007-2011: Vice president for quality and CI, Rockwell Automation, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
1997-20077: Director for quality; also operations manager, Schneider Electric, Palatine, Illinois, USA/Puebla, Mexico
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I owe my success to my mom and dad. My dad once told me to remember that circumstances are what they are. I shouldn’t try to understand the whys. Focus on being stronger and smarter so you can deal with any circumstances. I have always followed this advice, which has changed my life for the better.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Come and join us because there are tremendous opportunities to learn and grow. However, you have to know how to balance your personal life with the industry’s demands. Manage your career in a way that allows you to spend quality time with your loved ones.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
After my children have grown and I have retired I plan to devote my time to helping people in need. I want to do something that improves the quality of life for others.
What do you do to relax?
I love to play guitar and sing. Time stands still when I do this. I also enjoy playing with my kids. It’s simple but it makes me happy.
What is your dream location to live?
I love Spain, so I’m sure I will retire there. Perhaps I will move to Madrid or to the south. We will see.
What is your favorite driving song?
My taste in music is eclectic but if I had to pick a favorite genre it would be flamenco pop. I love driving to the song “Entre las sabanas” by Los Rebujitos.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
Last summer I traveled with my family from Merida to Playa del Carmen in the south of Mexico. It was an amazing experience for all of us to enjoy the area’s culture, nature, beaches, and great food.
What was your first car?
A 1999 Chevrolet Chevy (the name used in Mexico at the time for the Opel Corsa).
I like cars. I actually own four: a Volvo XC90, an Audi A7, a Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG and a Maserati Ghibli.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I really like my Maserati because it’s sporty but also sophisticated.