Honda R & D Americas

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Honda R & D Americas Reviews in Raymond, OH

Updated September 12, 2014
Updated September 12, 2014
90 Reviews
2.2
90 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Frank Paluch
6 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Job security is a company policy, no layoffs of full time associates during recession (in 9 reviews)

  • overtime paid,good benefits, big manufactue (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance is more of a work/sleep balance (in 10 reviews)

  • Any "REAL" decisions are still made by the Japanese staff or in the "Mother Land" (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

46 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    This was a very rewarding experience for a coop.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Design Coop  in  Raymond, OH
    Former Employee - Design Coop in Raymond, OH

    I worked at Honda R & D Americas as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Office environment is very friendly and people are willing to help.
    Flexible hours.
    Great perks!

    Cons

    Communication barriers can cause some hassle, but most people are patient and understand this concern and check for understanding.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Elaborate Hair Weaves

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Honda Research and Development  in  Raymond, OH
    Former Employee - Honda Research and Development in Raymond, OH

    I worked at Honda R & D Americas full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Name, maybe a small boost. The food

    Cons

    Go to school like I did. It takes less time.

    Just a word to wise. If your a Contractor then you are wasting your time. You won't get a good reference. You won't get good anything. Full timers were former contractors that lied, pushed and carried on so they are still mad about spending 10 getting hired in.

    For eome reason Honda ( A company with major bad reviews and known communication failure) tries to tell good, honest Ohians how to live. They also pretend to be shrinks when not asked or requested. Alot of OCD disorders. Alot of one track mentalies. Not a family oriented place at all. Therefore it is not a place with good timing. Seemed like everybody wanted to find a way to party or block others out. Planet of the anger apes because they had to sell their soul, then work 10 years of their life to get in making $14:00 hr. Wow, put on a wig and we can ride a hopped up moped together.

    So....the crazy Former Contractors will pick people they think are new and lie about messing up. It seems as if Honda R@D believes it is the same as the Military and basic training. Yet Honda R@D is, less motivated, less endurance, and less disaplined. No motivation, burned out and about half crazy.

    Its OK to talk about your Pontoon Boat maybe once a year but Honda R@D associates don't have that much good to talk about so they get obsessive and compulsive about boats, girls and , cars. Somebody asked me 10 times if I'd sell my car to them, then they got mad when I wouldn't.

    Nobody I talked to talked about thier wives or children. Everybody was divorced. Everybody was trying to outrun their OCD. Yet they kept wanting to get new people in the same wierd rush. People there seemed to be picky and rude and that was because almost everybody met had so much drama going on they couldnt trust themselves.

    The associates were very demanding and assumption prone. As if they just finished Med School. In reality you have to be careful not to even talk to them because they are mad and just waiting to get new people down.

    Nobody I seen could do all the jobs at one time, yet Honda believes that they can have a huge turn over and have one contractor do everything at the same time. I'll remember that the next time I needs skills to weld in a scrapyard.

    There were little to no War Veterens. However everybody was telling that they seen action and they are hard Veterens. Stolen Valor.

    The plant was messy and unorganized. Managers qnd cordinators openly threw each other under the bus. Papers stacked up all over the offices. Mad people telling unsuspecting people they are no good with fits of rage and illusions of granger.

    Honda R@D seems to communicate well about pontoon boats, model cars, IQs and elaborate hair weaves, but not everything else. Seems like the people employed there were the kind that didn't take pride in their work. They like to hire violent story telling people that beat out everybody. It shows in their recalls and firmer Honda plant workers who quit full time work so they go to R@D and be contractors for 10 years, so that's why you don't get hired in.

    Honda R@D doesn't do any development free persay, that's done from Japan but they do research everybodies drama and young females tend to have management's attention the most. That is if Managment isnt in a storming rage or Bsing with a ciggerette like a dirty bar.

    Managment follows assumptions. This causes work to be delayed and backed up. The first thing that happens when you get hired people do to you is come at the throat like dogs and try to get everybody else fired.

    The vehicles are not tested properly because the TEAM is either eating or on the computer. Cars are not getting safe materials for tests.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    I wasted a good chunk of my life here; I only realized this after I quit and am very happy now

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Design Engineer  in  Raymond, OH
    Former Employee - Design Engineer in Raymond, OH

    I worked at Honda R & D Americas full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Very good name-recognition (for now) and lots of opportunity to get involved in interesting projects (although you will not be recognized for your contribution). Nice cafeteria and easy commute. A good place for newly graduated engineers to boost their career (three years is probably enough though). Also, if you have very little ambition, lack innovation and have no problem sacrificing personal dignity for the sake of job security, this is a great workplace for you-- you will never get fired or laid off even if you produce no output whatsoever! They used to have interesting people (renown scientists, inventors, celebrities...) come to give inspiring speeches, but they stopped this to cut cost. I think Frank Paluch is a generally caring and approachable President.

    Cons

    The power of dreams... or the power of nightmares? One person's dream may be the cause of sleepless nights for another, but the fact is that both are far removed from reality-- and that tends to be the problem at Honda R&D at Raymond, Ohio. This place may seem to be a good place to work and brag about to relatives and friends at tailgate parties despite your total lack of engineering skill or knowledge of up-to-date trends in the industry, but it can have the power to stagnate and waste precious time for your career once you realize how worthless it is to spend more than three years at this poor excuse of a "R&D center" (where very little actual research or development takes place).

    At first, the benefits look wonderful and the facility looks great. The cafeteria seems like you are working for some first-class company with the amount of time HR spends on selecting new colors for the carpet. People seem friendly and there seems to be lots of discussion going on about various projects and new technology. However, I quickly realized how there are unspoken rules on how you should not use benefits too much lest you get black-listed by the euphemically re-labled "talent management" group (former Human Resources). Also, the cafeteria basically cycles the same menu every week so you get bored, and eventlally settle with the pizza, and all the cool discussions are just that-- mere discussion that never materializes beyond a powerpoint presentation.

    In fact, if you want to make a career out of generating powerpoint presentations, this is your haven. Business at Honda R&D is driven by powerpoint presentations and multiple meetings-- often dragging on for entire days to review minute details within presentations. What I always found astounding is how many times technical evaluators will point out problems related to color schemes or the size of the font instead of the actual content. It was actually common to hear comments such as "the color of that arrow is too bright-- try something in a more pastel shade" so some other higher-up won't be too alarmed by the bright colors! If you are good at making slick slides, you are truly set for your fully-paid unproductive bliss. This also means regardless of how many PhDs or MBAs you may have under your belt, you will go nowhere and be considered as having little to no value within this company unless you can make nice powerpoint slides.

    I hinted at the passive agrressive HR folks and some other reviewers point out this fact, but indeed Honda R&D has a fairly large number of "HR professionals" who make odd decisions on which engineers are worth promoting and which candidate should be hired. The hiring manager actually has little say, and even when you have requests to fill an open position for aeons, you find applications piled up and unmoving on some HR member's desk. Despite their often unhelpful application of company rules (which are never clearly announced), they seem to break various rules themselves and keep poor track of personal information (I once found a box-full of old applications sitting in a meeting room in plain view) while having "super ball parties" during company time in their own meeting room. It seems like they either really hate people, or think everyone who works at Honda R&D should be treated as ex-cons because most employees feel intimidated by HR members and either try to pander to them or avoid contact with them at all cost. Oh yes, they also don't like to hire mid-career people, and tend to reel in a lot of graduates right after college. For that reason there is a fairly noticiable talent vacuum in the 30-40 year old age range (because many decide to leave).

    The fact that HR has so much control over Honda R&D also points to the biggest problem -- management.
    The top level (executives such as the president and VPs) is a continuously rotating door of various folks often being sent from Japan on 2-3 year assignments to boost their career and give them some "I used to bark orders at Americans" pizazz, which has the unfortunate effect of making it impossible to have any long-term strategy for the company. This environment has also cultivated, in the last two decades, a strata of barely-changing middle-management who has honed their ability to change their minds quickly with the arrival of new top management members. Naturally there are cliques (all large companies have them), and you can never expect any future within the company unless you can kiss-up to your boss in exchange for your dignity (the merit evaluation system is basically a sham which is common with many other companies, too).

    As you can imagine based on the above, very little decisions are actually made at Honda R&D. Even when they seem to be made, the next incomming executive will reverse course, and as a result we end up having to use the same old design, etc. because that is the only way to meet our production schedule and cost target.

    Incidentally, the current President, Frank Paluch, is a good guy. However, he is too nice to shake-up the staus quo to bring really needed change to the organization. Being a President is not a popularity contest-- I have often though Frank should be more direct with middle-managers, especially in terms of taking responsbility. Poorly performing managers are only given a slap-on-the-wrist for not performing up to expectation, and are given perpetual second chances when they are sent to manage some other group where they have zero expertise. I hope Frank can put an end to that strange practice so younger engineers can start populating middle management, and unqualified and non-performing managers tossed out. I like him as a person but as a President he has been disappointing (stop surrounding yourself with yes-men and engage folks who bring up tough issues).

    The other problem with management is their surprising lack of knowledge about the industry in general. You have engineering managers who have never heard about technology that has been out there for a couple years, and in worst cases they are unaware of stuff that already exsits in our competition's vehicles. Executives seem blissfully unaware of industry trends or the doings of executives in other automotive companies. Honda R&D is a strange place where we live in a opaque bubble of ignorance, and it seems many managers try their darndest to maintain that status quo (which is why we seem to settle with extremely conservative design changes). Some managers will become defensive and angry when you point out their lack of awareness, and for that reason it is sometimes necessary to make sure you bring up such subjects in a gentle, non-offending manner (I am not making up this stuff, and I know some of you reading this and are still working there are rolling around the floor, laughing). Many engineers give up and never bother to make suggestions for improvements (and end up leaving).

    In the end I realized spending any more time here would provide zero growth for me (they actually have no real system for professional growth). I think anybody that spends more tha 5 years here is wasting their life. If you have spent more than 15 years here? I think you have seriously wasted a huge chunk of your time, producing nothing. Seriously... most of the engineering at Honda R&D in Ohio is done in Japan. Most important projects are first brought close to final stage in Japan, and then brought over to the US -- then the project is handed over to an "American." Then the "American" is sent to Detroit or some auto show for photos as a meager attempt to give the public the idea that Honda cars are developed by American engineers. Take a realistic look at projects that were truly home-bred and look at how much sales those models generated, and then the result is fairly obvious.

    So, in closing, if you are someone who enjoys blissful and unproductive ignorance or fictitious glamour based on hard work done across the Pacific, this is your place of dreams. For true engineers with a vision, this is a nightmarish place, not worth spending more than three years. Soichiro Honda was a great engineer and one heck of a guy, but unfortunately Honda R&D shares little or no value let alone a single nanogram of the same innovative spirit. That is why I left. How about you? (All of you still living inside those white uniforms? And yes, the grass IS greener outside...)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think you should know more about how cars work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    An adequate place to make a living if you can tolerate the Japanese culture & language BS.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer II  in  Raymond, OH
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer II in Raymond, OH

    I have been working at Honda R & D Americas full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Comfortable and newly constructed work environment. Internationally well respected company & products. Challenging & interesting responsibilities (in some cases). Decent pay for the area (Central OH with low cost of living)

    Cons

    Japanese culture is difficult to deal with at times. Any "REAL" decisions are still made by the Japanese staff or in the "Mother Land". Many documents and higher level meetings conducted in Japanese. A dual culture exists within the company. Kind of "Us vs Them" feeling at times. Many higher level Americans are just puppets of their Japanese superiors. Have you seen the movie "Gun g H o"? It's spot-on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Purge the non-performers at all levels and bring in or promote people who are respected. It's VERY destructive to the motivation of competent people to be "lead" by incompetent boobs, whether they be Japanese or American staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Avoid, at all costs! Look at Tesla, Ford, BMW, or Mercedes...they innovate! You'll wonder why so many are at HRA!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research/Test Engineer II  in  Raymond, OH
    Former Employee - Research/Test Engineer II in Raymond, OH

    I worked at Honda R & D Americas full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    At HRA, you will have excitement, you will see amazing cars not made by Honda, and you will be in a honeymoon phase...it wears off quickly. There is lots of work to be done (engineers love to be busy), decent food in the cafeteria (or tons of microwaves), and good perks (car leases, discount on parts, etc.)...PLEASE READ ON!

    Cons

    * You will end up being pigeon-holed, so your first few years, your skills will broaden...then it hits a roadblock.
    * Your work is not trusted by Japanese staff. I delivered multiple thorough presentations detailing problems, steps taken to alleviate them, and your work is taken as speculative and not factual. (This is the Japanese mindset: Americans are second-rate engineers compared to Japanese staff.)
    * Initially you feel like you can topple the world, but your role will eventually turn into this, undoubtedly: You will create PowerPoint documents, you will write e-mails back and forth, you will babysit suppliers, and then you will present your PowerPoint documents that contain no work that you did to solve problems (that is the work of a supplier, solving problems), and then you will get no commendation or you will be chided for not meeting deadlines. (HRA's statement of being "The Power of Dreams" should properly read, "Where Japanese Dreams Live, and Americans Dreams Die".)
         - I was privileged to work on great projects, but truly, you will see this.
    * MORALE: It may seem like I'm a bad apple here, but take heed of the following: What ties people together at Honda is the sad reality that, people here don't like their jobs. I outlined a lot of it before, but gathering a general consensus among new engineers was the same upon my departure...you have a common bond with your fellow engineers: they all dislike their job.
    * Management politics: If you don't serve your time (5+ years), innovative ideas cannot be pursued by you. If you are smart, ambitious, or creative...HRA is not the place for you!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I pitched my research idea, it got approved, and then I booked. What plagues Honda is doing the business the same as every other manufacturer...long development, rigid structure and not allowing modular design, and COMPLETE DISRESPECT FOR AMERICAN ENGINEERS. I cannot hammer home that last idea better than being in all-caps. I have had exposure to HGT, HRI, ITR-SV, and indirect exposure to HGN -- the experience is the same -- they continually attempt to undermine any creativity or actual "expert" authority from American engineers. I have a patent going in, and my research is currently being pursued...but what made Honda lose a great engineer was not pay, but was the respect and the relegation to being a mindless-robot to execute work the Japanese could not finish. I know Erik Berkman made a big hoopla about pay and bringing everything close to market value, but that doesn't attract or keep engineers. If you want to be able to recruit and keep talent, you need to do one of the following: allow for meaningful work, allow for creative research, and empower the American engineers to do great work.

    I can go further, but I doubt this will be read. I left because of moral problems with fail-safe countermeasures being applied, and I will be there to testify when the problem arises in mass-production. I will soon be working for a different automotive OEM, one notorious for taking all of Honda's talent, and will be working for much less money under much higher scrutiny, and for longer hours because they address the items closing out the previous paragraph.

    One other bit of advice: talk with your creative engineers. I had multiple departments know of the research I performed over my duration at Honda, but managers present for over 10 years did not blink an eye. These smart engineers aren't going to be at Honda long, and I hope will never go to Honda because I fear they will become accustomed to the environment and become lazy, therefore losing their creativity that can impact the world.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    Please look at other options before you take a position here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer I  in  Raymond, OH
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer I in Raymond, OH

    I have been working at Honda R & D Americas full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Use of company cars
    Flexibility in job
    Actual job function isn't bad

    Cons

    You can only fail up here, your work is not based on actual merit but only perception by certain people

    In engine group, documents are the only thing that anyone judges. Actual work output means nothing.

    Recently we changed management and things seemed to be getting better but it is going downhill again, I can't say I have hope for this organization.

    The fortune top 100 goal is a joke. Honda couldn't make this list if they gave everyone a free car.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get some outside experience. Stop thinking the honda way is the only way. We aren't the best and our employee retention rate shows this.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Contractors are treated as third class.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Raymond, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raymond, OH

    I worked at Honda R & D Americas as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Depending on what contract the Honda R&D ISD is using, very good money.

    Cons

    The Honda ISD Persons In Charge (PIC) treat the Tier 1 & 2 contractors like objects that can be replaced at any time. This has been the attitude for the past three years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire dedicated corporate professionals instead of segregation of blame to contractors (fuses).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    stable but not exciting.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer II  in  Raymond, OH
    Current Employee - Engineer II in Raymond, OH

    I have been working at Honda R & D Americas as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    pays contractors well, stable, easy workloads. As another engineer told me while I was working there, "i do work that pertains to my projects for about 50% of my day, the rest of the day I am doing whatever else I want to do"

    Cons

    not much room for advancement, not an exciting job for an engineer, and the division between contractors and direct-hire employees is HUGE. If you are a contractor in the powersports division, you are treated as an outsider that doesn't really belong there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    communication between management and contractors is basically zero, this should be improved.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 9 people found this helpful  

    Well, it's better than unemployment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Design Engineer  in  Raymond, OH
    Current Employee - Design Engineer in Raymond, OH

    I have been working at Honda R & D Americas full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Exciting, future products that set the bar
    - Many young professionals
    - Cafeteria (especially on Indian food day)
    - Uniforms (laundered for you, and you never have to buy clothes)
    - Interesting simulation software
    - Onsite software training
    - Lease car program
    - Looks good on a resume
    - Learning how to communicate your ideas to Japanese staff at a childlike level prepares you for situations outside of work
    - When it hits -10°F, they closed!
    - Vacation (Xmas/"spirited independence week" ie 4th of July week), though you can't take your normal vacation since there is no time
    - Health care prices

    Cons

    - Work/life balance is more of a work/sleep balance. You must eat, sleep, and choke on your workload to get it done.
    - Meetings at 7am. Meetings at 9pm. Pre-meetings for meetings where you prep for meetings. Honda is the Inception of meetings.
    - Designers don't have time to design because your time is divided into:
        50% meetings/powerpoint creation
        20% getting the runaround from Japanese management on pointless investigations
        15% technical overview/tolerancing
        10% staying awake because it's 10:30pm and you just want to go tuck your kids in and kiss your wife
         5% actual design/modeling work
    - Marysville is in the middle of nowhere
    - Poor task delegation, and many last-minute requests
    - Clear delineation of schedules is difficult to find as everyone must keep their own project schedules
    - Cross-functional groups are difficult to manage at first because there is no central list of who is in charge of what
    - Language barrier...if, for some insane reason, you take a job here, make absolutely sure you know what the J-staff are requesting from the beginning as it usually is very broad
    - Many projects will get shot down after 100+ hours of time investment because of one Japanese voice regardless of what American goes to bat for you because that person didn't show up to the first correlation meeting to weight in early
    - Poor communication of design guides and references from Japan. HRAO basically starts from scratch
    - High turnover means that projects get set back even though schedules don't change causing a hectic rush.
    - High blood pressure makes you job search after less than a year regardless of the pay or interesting friends you make there

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Follow through with the best company to work for goals.
    - Hire more engineers, and make development/testing schedules easily accessible. Nobody is trying to steal your information so it's pointless.
    - Don't lie to people in the interview about how much overtime is expected.
    - Monitor the overtime and hold your PL's/managers accountable. If they expect their employees to work those hours then they should work them too.
    - Set up an official internal job-change platform to try a different group before they rage-quit

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    No Balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cost Planning  in  Raymond, OH
    Current Employee - Cost Planning in Raymond, OH

    I have been working at Honda R & D Americas full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits and overtime is offered in addition to salary. If you love to spend time working, this will be to your advantage.

    Cons

    No work-life balance. Not much PTO/Sick time offered first two years. A lot of work expected out of you. A lot of the people who have been there for a while seem burned out. No flexibility with taking time off throughout the day if needed unless you have PTO time accumulated which takes a LONG time to build.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees are more than just a number. Little things like allowing them to eat at their desk can make a big difference.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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