Group global customer quality & TCS director, Forvia
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
To get my master’s degree in industrial engineering at Ecole des Mines in France I had to complete an internship. I was offered work in the apparel and consumer goods industries as well as a post at Bosch Automotive Electronics. I remember my professor saying that the automotive industry was an intense, dynamic and innovative place to work. That sounded like a perfect fit for me because I consider myself to be a dynamic and energetic person. Given the complexity of developing and producing a product, I figured I would never get bored and that has been the case since my first day working in this industry.
Your greatest achievement?
For me, great achievements are about teamwork. I also try to be a change agent who helps develop sustainable prosperity. I remember one time we were working on a project for the Scandinavian market. The company there was struggling to stay relevant. No one believed we would win such a big job, but we did. And we were able to help the company regain its position in the Scandinavian market. Recently, programs under my leadership were recognized by the company as benchmark programs. This was because of the role I played in acquiring the projects, supporting the profitability of the production plants involved and protecting jobs at the locations. When it comes to personal achievements since I come from a standard Mexican family and have had to further my education through scholarships. I’m proud to have attended well-known universities in several countries. I am also grateful that what I learned there has helped me take on leadership positions at great global companies.
Born: Mexico City, Mexico
Languages: German, Mexican
Education: Executive MBA, IESE Business School, Munich, Germany; master’s degree in industrial engineering and production systems, Ecole des Mines, Paris, France; bachelor’s degree in international business administration, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Estado de Mexico, Mexico
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
I didn’t say, no, when I should have and accepted a project that was not the right fit for me. About two months after I started I got very sick. I had a bacterial infection that affected many of my vital organs. I was forced to leave the project because of the illness and needed nearly two years to fully recover. This taught me it’s essential to enjoy what you are doing. Then you can face the challenges and difficulties that are bound to come. And I have learned to say no if a job is not right for me.
What is your current challenge at work?
I work on the group level of an organization with more than 300 industrial sites across at least 40 countries. I am responsible for customer quality performance and perception. This requires technical experience as well as the ability to motivate and inspire stakeholders across the business groups and divisions. You also have to try to provide value to everyone. Therefore, my biggest challenge is to identify everyone’s needs and challenges and transform them into actions that will bring value.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I was told to “see yourself in a way others may not, simply because they have never seen it before.” To me this means that you can’t allow others to tell you what you can or cannot do. This advice has helped me keep moving forward. My role models are powerful and unstoppable women. They include my mother, my aunts and my former boss.
2023 to present: Group global customer quality and total customer satisfaction (TCS) director, Forvia, Nanterre, France
2018–2022: Global senior programs director, Valeo, Munich, Germany
2015–2017: Global senior projects manager, Valeo, Munich
2013–2014: Global program manager, Valeo, Munich
2012–2013: Project team manager, Continental, Hannoversch Münden, Germany
2010–2012: Account manager and project program leader, Continental, Hannoversch Münden
2010–2010: Lean operations and continuous improvement leader, Robert Bosch, Mondeville, France
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Be authentic and remain true to your values and yourself. If you want to achieve something, work for it and always be prepared. Also, seek out work environments that fit your values and where you feel appreciated and supported. And finally, remain resilient during the tough times because those moments provide the best life lessons.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I want to be in an executive position where I can lead with purpose as I do my best to care for employees, customers, communities and the environment. At the same time, I want to provide consistent profitability while meeting the demands required to be a sustainable business.
What do you do to relax?
I love sports and have been involved in different activities since I was three years old. These include ballet, ballroom dancing, semi-professional swimming and basketball. Today I box, swim and do yoga. I also meditate for 15 to 30 minutes a day.
What is your dream location to live?
I have had the good fortune to live in many different places, but the two that I call home are Munich and Mexico City. That’s where the people I love are. Because I have moved around so much I have learned to be happy where I am because every place is charming in its own way.
What is your favorite driving song?
I have a special playlist called Highway. One song on it is “Tacones Rojos” by Colombian singer Sebastian Yatra. I love to play the original version of that song and version he did with John Legend.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
It was a family trip to Chiapas, Mexico. I was with my two aunts and my grandmother. We visited the Lacandon Jungle, the archaeological Mayan culture zone of Palenque and all the small charming and colorful towns along the way. I loved the hotel where we stayed. It was near the jungle with little houses so the view was amazing – and there was no internet. To me connecting with nature is heaven on earth.
What was your first car?
It was a red VW Caribe. I think it was Mexico’s version of the Rabbit, also known as the Golf. It was my father’s car. He lent it to me when I was in high school. Among my friends I was the only one with a car, which was a huge advantage.
A Peugeot 3008.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I would be an Aston Martin DBS. It’s sophisticated, sporty and delivers on performance.