FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — For the first time in company history, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services was named by Great Place to Work as one of the best workplaces in the United States on its annual Best Small and Medium Workplaces list.

The lending operation was ranked No. 24. The list recognizes companies that have exceptional workplace cultures. Now in its ninth year, the competition is divided into two categories: small (50 to 250 employees) and medium-sized companies (251 to 999 employees).

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services was selected among hundreds of companies vying for a place on the list this year. Applicant companies opt to participate in the selection process, which includes an employee survey and an in-depth questionnaire about their programs and company practices. Great Place to Work then evaluates each application based on five dimensions: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.

At a town hall meeting of all U.S. employees in Michigan and broadcast to Fort Worth, Texas and Fort Mill, S.C., Peter Zieringer, president and chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, announced the news.

"This award means more to me than any of our financial milestones," Zieringer said. "This is a direct reflection of the quality of people who work for this company and is the validation of our company's core values which we live every day."