Local Motors Reviews | Glassdoor

Local Motors Reviews

Updated Dec 26, 2019

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2.5
30%
Recommend to a Friend
20%
Approve of CEO
Local Motors CEO & Co-founder John B. Rogers, Jr. (no image)
John B. Rogers, Jr.
35 Ratings
  1. Helpful (9)

    "Still FAKING it. But not so fast."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Former Employee in Chandler, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Local Motors full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Pay isn't bad. They made a couple real products.

    Cons

    Read the other reviews and you will not believe that anyone with money to invest would spend it on such an unorganized company with no sensical plan to develop and manufacture a safe, working product. They have spent nothing on safety or quality & reliability testing. If they could produce the little busses, someone is likely to be injured or worse. The vast majority of the engineering and assembly staff is long gone and the management staff is mostly made up of inexperienced opportunists that are way over their heads.

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    Advice to Management

    Give back the investment funds that remain and get back to work at real companies that have a workable plan and obtainable goals.

    Local Motors2017-11-06
  2. Helpful (17)

    "Lack of strategy and nonexistent leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Chandler, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Local Motors full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Favorable compensation for a startup, relaxed working environment, decent time-off policies, and the HR team did their best. It took a couple of months to see that the allure of LM was a mirage in the desert. The vehicles were fun and promising and it was great to work alongside the most ambitious automotive designers and technicians.

    Cons

    Leadership (in particular, the CEO) fails to put forward to employees or the public a strategic plan for growth. Leadership team fails to hold CEO accountable to commitments and plans, and they simply expend lots of resources putting out fires (sometimes literally). There [were] great individuals in the LM team who were eager to apply their talent to the fullest. The quarterly pivot in business plan/strategy resulted in nobody knowing which way the ship was going, when in fact, the ship was sinking. Even with the latest barrage of press coverage, it's unclear if they are generating revenue and making measurable progress on their dream vehicles. Olli was a great vehicle concept, but it was near impossible for one to operate properly. The videos are out there: Olli does NOT operate autonomously and it would be nothing short of misleading to suggest it does.

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    Advice to Management

    Eyeballs do not translate to dollars. Say no to press events. Stop being IBM's puppet and hire proven autonomous vehicle engineers with hands-on experience. Lastly, and most important, if the company has any chance of surviving, the CEO must resign. Follow the leads, money, and margins. It's most certainly not in Swell insulated water bottles. Get Olli operating autonomously. All the resources you dedicate should be on product development. Forth should quickly on-ramp additional clients so they can break away LM.

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    Local Motors2017-05-18
  3. Helpful (8)

    "Grand vision, lack of focus"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Local Motors full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    This company has tons of great ideas and access to influential partners. If you show initiative, you'll be trusted and given the opportunity to prove yourself. Met a lot of good people and had fun.

    Cons

    Overall, the disparate objectives are hard to tie together under the banner "a world of vehicle innovations". Not enough focus and discipline. Always wanting to do too much too fast and attracted to the next big thing without proving themselves. Not a ton of support for growth because of the chaos.

    Advice to Management

    Do one thing and nail it - then grow. Hire the right people for the job.

    Local Motors2017-04-19
  4. Helpful (25)

    "Beware the 5-star reviews, they are planted, most likely by the CMO. The non-flattering reviews of her are accurate."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Local Motors full-time

    Pros

    Everyone thinks you're cool when you show-up somewhere in a Rally Fighter. You will have interesting and memorable experiences if you work there.

    Cons

    It's all smoke and mirrors, the company has more factories than products and makes nothing. Gullible, rich investors keep throwing money down the hole because Jay is a clever and charming salesman. His grandfather destroyed Indian Motorcycles, his father was pursued by the government for years for the Savings & Loan Scandal, and now Jay has created Local Motors. Google the Jay Rogers Playboy interview, it's fascinating.

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    Advice to Management

    Cut your losses and walk away before the company becomes the next Enron and you are unemployable.

    Local Motors2017-02-20
  5. Helpful (22)

    "A 9 year startup still in the red"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering in Chandler, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Local Motors full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    They don't make anything. So nothing.

    Cons

    Incompetent human resources and hiring staff. CEO dips pen in company ink. Shredded any legitimacy after discontinuing the only products that ever turned a "profit".

    Advice to Management

    Borrow 400 million dollars for a "startup" AND still call it a startup? Lol ......

    Local Motors2017-02-14
  6. Helpful (18)

    "Right idea; wrong direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Local Motors part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Challenging projects, cool toys, nice facilities. As a relatively new company, most tools, equipment, and furnishings were new or gently used. Good benefits and work-life balance if you want it.

    Cons

    Distributed manufacturing on a co-creation platform is a great idea, but Local Motors' execution has been less than stellar. Buzzwords, empty promises, and investor funding do not a successful company make.

    Advice to Management

    I will mirror what others have said and get rid of the CMO. Her word is law, and what should be a technology company has become a marketing machine. Go back to the roots and focus on the values and goals that the company was started on, otherwise I don't see the company lasting much longer.

    Local Motors2017-02-10
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good company with some start up growing pains"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Developer in Chandler, AZ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Local Motors for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Cool projects, great talent pool to work with, flexible work environment

    Cons

    There was some poor management choices being made and it had some ignored impact on morale. They grew really fast so they were expected.

    Advice to Management

    I think they have resolved many of the problem issues after I left.

    Local Motors2017-02-02
  8. Helpful (19)

    "Oh boy, where to start?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Local Motors full-time

    Pros

    They pay a ton of money if you're one of the few competent people at the company.

    Cons

    The company in utter disarray. After years of trying to prove it can make something, investors have finally started to wise-up and stop giving them money carte blanche. They've never had the same business plan for more than a year thanks to founder John "Jay" B. Rogers' ADHD vision of what he personally thinks the future is at any given point and they've spent near a decade and millions upon millions of dollars chasing some grandiose end-goal of people walking into a local car factory and buying a car of some kind built to their specs without any actual realistic business plan of how to get there. LM is by far and away the worst company I have ever been a part of. The more you learn about the company culture in the weeks after you join, the more you realize you're powerless to change it individually. Nobody wants to be better at their job because in their minds they already think they're great at it and they are way off the mark. There have been numerous clueless enablers in the executive staff that all think Jay is crazy but few people have the ability to sway any of his crazy direction. Jay believes pontification is leadership and that in itself will somehow get the company to its goals. To that end, the company builds marketing partnerships to attempt to associate itself with big industry players in the hopes that it elevates the brand enough to get more investor dollars. It's actually one of the few things the company was good at, until recently. Rather than parlay Local Motor's original success and basically the only thing the company is known for, the Rally Fighter, into other vehicles people might want to buy. They squandered years with attempting to throw off-the-shelf parts on motorcycles, a drift trike that cost way more to make than they could sell it for, and 3D printed cars that take way longer to make than the marketing makes it out to be (and will probably never be sold anyway). They're searching for a business model that desperately has something to do with transportation. While still failing at finding revenue there, they're attempting to expand operations to the most expensive parts of the country for no reason other than (again) it will look good to investors. The locations that they did open were primarily opened to have something flashy to showcase, not to serve an actual business purpose. I can absolutely back up other reviews that say it's all smoke and mirrors, especially the current "autonomous" bus, Olli. It doesn't work at all as promoted in various places. You can't talk to Watson, it doesn't drive itself. It's a slapped together prototype that the company somehow hopes they can throw a sensor or two(!) on and it'll drive itself around campuses and towns. The James Cordon marketing video didn't feature a single factual thing. Then there's the online "community". Despite having only a handful of participants, it's portrayed as the crown jewel. The primary business is hosting engineering challenges for partners who presumably believe LM's activity metrics. The work that comes out of it is embarrassing to any legitimate professional. Most of the activity on LM's site is still sketch artists in Europe posting pure fantasy rip-offs and remixes of wild supercars not realizing that LM has interest in producing any "traditional" vehicle for the last several years. The work that does win the challenges rarely turns into anything, let alone a successful product. Most of the company is incompetent at their jobs and as a result, the atmosphere is toxic to those with a clue. The review process is meaningless as the worst performers never get culled (or even get a bad review). Finally people just throw their hands up and leave and it just gets continues to get worse. This applies to the entire company. HR and accounting are hilarious train-wrecks. Marketing was an oversized "Director" factory. Tech can never deliver on the most basic things. Prodev has a complete lacks any testing methodology or even basic engineering fundamentals. Sales was responsible for an entire third-party retail inventory that made no sense for the company to even sell. Recent layoffs may have a better long term result, but so long as Jay continue to run the company it will continue to waste money on poor execution of fuzzy and ever-changing goals. Lots and lots of people talking about the CMO and how she's the brains of the whole place (for better or worse) in reviews. I don't disagree that she's hyper-opinionated and emotionally erratic. She's a clone of Jay in those respects. But she's probably closed most of the deals that gave LM any revenue to speak of at all. Let's also get something straight about the phrase "start-up". Start-up doesn't mean you get to write off being good at anything until you achieve profitability. It means you're a new company and you haven't had enough time to follow through on your plan. Local Motors is not new. They have had a decade to do something, anything to turn a profit. Every physical product that has been sold has not made a profit. At some point, you stop being a start-up and just become a failing company. That grace period has been exceeded years ago, sometime around the third or fourth pivot. If you still work at LM and believe it's a start-up, well nevermind then, maybe you are in the right place to go down with the ship. Jay gets furious at these negative reviews too. He genuinely believes that they're incorrect, but they're not. Jay just lives in his own world where he has built LM into an amazing technology company with his own two hands. His ego won't let him see it any other way and the years of magazine covers, TV appearances and speaking engagements have done nothing but build it to a point that is so far out-of-whack with the reality of the company and its assets.

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    Advice to Management

    It doesn't matter. Jay needed to be removed as CEO years ago. He'd make a fine Chairman or President of the company, but he is not fit to run day-to-day operations of a medium-size business, let alone a large one (if LM ever is able to get to that point). The writing is on the wall at this point.

    Local Motors2017-02-24
  9. Helpful (21)

    "A few truths..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Local Motors full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Paycheck comes as agreed. Looks cool from the outside. The CEO is very motivating. Time off is liberal and EVERY holiday is observed.

    Cons

    The CEO who was normally front and center in running the company and very forthright with information, was absent for 90 days before recent mass terminations. He left the Chiefs to clean up and do the dirty work. There is no path to profitability, no business models, no realistic plans for production of a product. Investor fund raising is a complete horse and pony show. Every prototype, no matter the condition or function was sent to TN facility as well as all the tools and machines, to make it look like a factory. In fact, nothing has ever been produced in TN. Or in National Harbor, another expensive mock-up factory. Or in Las Vegas. Everything was made in Arizona in a metal building, behind a truck stop, on the edge of an Indian reservation. That's where the techs and engineers rapid assembled vehicles at the whim of the CEO. The current vehicle, touted as a level-5 autonomous shuttle with cognitive awareness, has NONE of those abilities. It does not even have climate control. Every mile it has been driven has been controlled by a human with a game controller.

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    Advice to Management

    Stop the un-truths. Give your employees some notice and do the right thing. LM is not a start-up, nor a tech innovator. You are not going to honor your grandfather's legacy operating like this.

    Local Motors2017-02-17
  10. Helpful (14)

    "Don't waste your time!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Local Motors full-time

    Pros

    Very few since the company has changed direction. Pros used to include: Vacation Time, fun work environment.

    Cons

    First and foremost, everyone who has ever worked for LM knew what they were getting into. To the poster below who tried to reiterate the fact that LM is a start up.... NO KIDDING!!!! EVERY employee who has ever signed on to work for the company... they understood that they were getting into a "start-up", they understood that a "start-up will have growing pains... They understood that changes happen...Local Motors starting going down hill when they lost the family mentality and moved to a team mentality. As soon as the company got bigger than 100 people, the leadership started caring less about their people and more about how they could profit themselves. It says a lot about the company when there isn't a SINGLE employee left who has worked there from the beginning. (Excluding the CEO) -Some left on their own, some were asked to leave, some left and came back and some were let go with nothing more than a pat on the back. Nothing like giving 5, 6, 7, 8 + years of your life to a company, that you believed in, only be laid off and given nothing in return. The company is putting all of its eggs into the "Olli' basket. They want to move their headquarters to a city that they won't be able to pay their employees to live in. A city where the cost of living is so high, that it is crazy to think how they will pay their mortgage let alone the salaries of those who work there.

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    Advice to Management

    Stop biting off more than you can chew. Start caring about the few people that are left.. After speaking with quite a few of the employees that were recently let go... it is apparent that you never cared for those that you fired. They were just minions doing the dirty work to get you where you needed.

    Local Motors2017-02-15
Found 43 reviews