Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America
2.6 of 5 33 reviews
mbrdna.com Palo Alto, CA 150 to 499 Employees

Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 33 reviews

                             

26% Approve of the CEO

Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America President & CEO Johann Jungwirth

Johann Jungwirth

(23 ratings)

27% of employees recommend this company to a friend
33 Employee Reviews
in
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  • Disapproves of CEO

2 people found this helpful  

One of the best managers was fired last week

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America full-time

ProsNew office
Nice location
Bicycle Friendly Business

ConsThe head of Human Resource department was fired last week. Management decided not to communicate why she suddenly disappeared from the company !!!

Aside from being one of the most respected, reliable, diligent and hard working manager in the company, she has been the only manager who could really understand our concerns and aspirations.

She followed a long list of employees who just disappear in a blink of an eye.

Advice to Senior ManagementFiring the head of Human Resource department had far-reaching and devastating effects that made all of us feel anxious and uncertain about our current and future employment. It signifies mismanagement, instability and lack of ability to maintain a safe and productive work environment.

We all feel overwhelmed by uncertainty and everyone questions the future of this company, its management team and its long-term goals.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

Meh

Systems Engineer (Former Employee)
Palo Alto, CA

I worked at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America full-time for more than a year

ProsWork with cool cars and new consumer technology

Consif you are not german, you won't go anywhere

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Nice place to work

Applications Developer (Current Employee)
Sunnyvale, CA

I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America as a contractor for more than a year

ProsBest work environment, flexible working hours, moderate work pressure.

ConsEntirely automobile oriented development, not much scope on other areas.

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3 people found this helpful  

Lowest Paid Internship position

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America as an intern for less than a year

ProsName sounds good on a resume

ConsGetting paid $15/hr, while most of my student colleagues who were interning in other car companies got paid at least $22-25/hr.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

Don't waste time

Developer (Current Employee)
Sunnyvale, CA

I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America as a contractor for more than a year

Prosworking in a big MNC

ConsNo recognition for your work. You need to be German.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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9 people found this helpful  

Do not waste your time!!!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Redford, MI

I worked at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America full-time for more than 5 years

ProsBenefits are good (401k matching, annual bonus, cheap leases -just because MB wants a larger presence in the US vehicle market-, health insurance). Salaries are case-by-case and not consistent.
And that's it!

ConsYou will be treated as a 3rd class citizen if you are not German! Toxic working environment with clear discriminatory practices: HR does not do anything against them (actually they promote them).
Archaic organizational model (multiple layers of bureaucracy, decisions at all levels are made in Germany -> no employee empowerment, no creativity needed, no training -unbelievable for a R&D entity!.) Organization values reminds me of the 1940s Germany. You just need to do your job as you are told to; your boss knows better, if you want to do things differently you will be disciplined. This location is a safe harbor for incompetent German "managers" that cannot compete at the company headquarters. Local employees have very limited advancement opportunities as a consequence.
Company communication is non-existing: secretive deals and backstabbing is common even among managers. Close door policy is the rule.
Poor management with focus on savings (outdated offices, unusable phone system, just recently the organization upgraded its software from 2003 MS office to 2010 MS office and from Lotus notes to a limited version of Outlook; company end-of-the year event was a Student Chorus performance and a meal + White Elephant gift exchange!) No focus on looking for new business / new projects.
Performance reviews are a really bad joke: department employees are placed on a normal distribution curve and only the top 10% (mostly Germans) are eligible for promotion / salary increases and even tuition assistance. Results: low morale, no salary increases for 90% of the department population, no team building / feeling.
Another bad joke is the employee transfer program to other department or Daimler division: you will not be allowed to move anywhere else (even if you another position better suits you and the company!). Job postings/promotion are mostly pre-assigned to German expats. Almost none chances to transfer to Germany on assignment (due to budgetary constraints, however there are multiple opportunities for German nationals to go abroad). When external consultants are needed, they are also Germans!
In summary: too much hassle for a brand that lives from past glories (check current quality reports on MB vehicles).

Advice to Senior ManagementIf your goals are to finance your operation in the Redford with US taxpayers monies/ State of Michigan grants for developing German workforce (for every US intern there are 10 German interns and regular German engineers become "managers' when they transfer to the US)
you are doing a really good job!
Fortunately the 10 Million State of Michigan grant will expire in 4 years. I am sure you will not leave any good memories with the local work force when you leave in 2017!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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8 people found this helpful  

Working here is like a bad dream

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America

Pros* Coworkers like to play ping pong and foosball with you and take you out to lunch
* Offices are clean and well-kept
* Free food and snacks, vending machines offer goods at discount prices, working dinner is paid for
* Sounds good to others to say that you're working for this well-known brand name, and it looks good on your resume.
* Peers actually are friendly and helpful, and if you're stuck, they're willing to help (can't say the same about the boss, however)

ConsI second everything that the reviewer on Feb 7, 2013 said:

* Workload objectives and deadlines are unrealistic
 - assignments require more work and time to complete than the time given
 - overtime is necessary but not "officially" allowed and therefore not paid for
 - you are blamed for not meeting deadlines despite unrealistic schedules
* Manager makes you feel like your skills are not good enough as a way to bully you into working unpaid overtime
* You are thrown into the action with little documentation, training, or guidance on how to use their proprietary technology and materials, and are expected to pick it up and use it in days, if not hours.
* Manager "motivates" by bullying you - belittling your educational background, trivializing the amount of work involved without having looked into it himself, and threatening you. Yet is totally oblivious to the obstacles you encounter that hinder your progress and does nothing to help. In fact, he seems to discourage questions. Manager does not appreciate anything you do right and instead looks for faults in your work and scolds you.
* Expectations are not clearly stated, and the only way you find out about something you were supposed to do or should not have done is after the manager is mad at you.
* Decisions are made behind your back, and supervision will sugarcoat and lie to cover up the real situation, or what they really think about you. The words from management don't match their actions. People also tend to speak badly about and ridicule former employees.
* No real discussions of employee progress with management; only criticism, personal attacks, and blame behind closed doors.

Advice to Senior ManagementJust as the 2/7/13 reviewer said, make sure that those you hire to be managers are well-trained in the best practices for managing teams and don't have personal agendas for self-promotion. Just because someone worked for a few years on these projects doesn't automatically entitle that person to be a manager. A manager is supposed to motivate people, inspire teamwork, encourage and guide people onto the right path, address obstacles, and stay out of their subordinates' way so they can accomplish their tasks. It seems like the real challenge was in dealing with a disrespectful boss rather than completing the work itself.

The focus should be on getting the work done, not in setting people up for failure. Take a good long look at your managers. See which ones can work well with their teams to ensure the success of their employees and the project itself. And beware of the ones who cannot work well with their teams and seem to rapidly and repeatedly burn through the subordinates they hire. Look at the other review that describes this place as a "brutal hire and fire environment". Please don't let this continue.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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7 people found this helpful  

A mind-numbing work

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America

ProsSome intelligent and interesting people to work with.
Your overall experience depends on the group you are in.

ConsOutdated technology. Redundant work. Boring projects.
The work is mind-numbing and not at all what I'd call R&D.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop the double talk and practice what you preach.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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14 people found this helpful  

Rigid work environment

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America

ProsConvenient location

Casual dress code

Free drinks


ConsThis is a small outpost for a parent company in Germany. Manager are sent from Germany to lead and workbees are hired locally to do the work.
Parent company dictates vision, goals and process. There is no room for those who disagree or challenge that way of thinking. If you do not fit the mold, you will not last.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop the double talk and be fair.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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17 people found this helpful  

Do not kid yourself

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America

ProsThere are lots of nice people around, but there's no voltage in the place at all.

ConsThere's very little intellectual curiosity here. There's no focus on anything that could have impact outside a show car. No independent thought. Nothing outside the box. It's a shame, not to mention frustrating.
If you are quiet and competent, they will keep you around and pass you from one project to the next. But that means 80 hour work weeks for a low salary.

Advice to Senior ManagementWe cannot be innovative if we are stressed, overworked, and underpaid.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America CEO Johann Jungwirth. All 33 reviews posted anonymously by Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America employees.