Katarina Fjording

Volvo Car Group

Head of Volvo Cars University Americas

There is a challenge and satisfaction in creating and building, and manufacturing requires continuous improvements and innovations to stay competitive. Manufacturing creates job opportunities in many disciplines and supports people’s growth and community prosperity.”

Katarina is an international automotive veteran who has been a significant contributor to the industry within industrial operations and Volvo Cars for 30 years. By leading major industrial launches and new manufacturing operations, she was instrumental in more than doubling the global manufacturing footprint of Volvo Cars. Her leadership was key to the establishment of Volvo Cars’ first manufacturing operations in China, as well as the company’s first industrial footprint in the U.S. Katarina’s strong advocacy for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and environmental care resulted in Volvo Cars’ South Carolina plant being the company’s first LEED facility.

Katarina is a strong advocate for diversity in manufacturing and serves as a role model for women across the company who are encouraged by her career. In addition to mentoring, she creates a high performing culture by encouraging a transparent and collaborative environment between all employees. As an executive board member in the SCCC and chair of the Manufacturing Committee, she helped develop the Manufacturing Employee of the Year award, with 50 percent of 2018 recipients being female. In addition to being a member of several boards and networks, Katarina was named one of “Top 20 Remarkable Leaders to Know” and one of “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders” in the Lowcountry and was recently bestowed an honorary doctor’s title at Claflin University.

Katarina is passionate about giving back to the community through her career and beyond. Numerous grants and initiatives related to STEM, health, safety, environment, and quality of life have been made possible through her leadership. She has volunteered with many organizations including the Red Cross, for which she chaired campaigns that raised $2M for disaster relief efforts.  To strengthen Volvo Cars’ talent pipeline and the local workforce, Katarina initiated a company collaboration with Trident Technical College, the state of South Carolina and Ridgeville county. As a result of this effort, a lean manufacturing training program, ManuFirst SC, was developed to allow high school students to earn a certificate that represents one year of manufacturing experience.