The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported last summer that included Clayton Homes the claim that “Clayton says it sells about 42% of the manufactured homes in the U.S…” MHProNews contacted the WSJ reporters and editor, who stood by their source. That implies that Clayton indeed made that statement to them. It was a controversial topic on several levels that only MHProNews tackled.
Per Clayton Homes own website and one of their annual reports, they said that Clayton’s sales “made up 47.74% of the total manufactured housing industry market share in 2017.”
More recently, according to the pro-Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) MHVillage website, and MHInsider – which cited Statistical Surveys – they said recently the following, captured in the infographic collage posted below.
Bear in mind that several 2020 Democratic Senators – some of whom are presidential candidates – have asked the federal government to probe Clayton Homes and their associated lenders.
A separate investigation of Clayton and their affiliated Berkshire Hathaway lenders has been reported by their own hometown TV news station, can you spell, embarrassing? This once obscure video on YouTube has surpassed most MHI produced videos in that timeframe since MHProNews has begun periodically spotlighting this report.
Are these clear examples of Clayton’s willingness to deceive, cross legal lines, and otherwise harm the reputation of the industry? If MHI were serious about their ‘code of ethical conduct’ – does it apply to Clayton too? Oh, pardon us, Berkshire brands and a former Clayton division president reflect how they now dominate the MHI executive committee even more than before.
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They are particularly relevant to investors in publicly traded firms that are members of MHI.
Other than MHProNews or MHLivingNews in industry trade media, who else is pulling back the veil to reveal a pattern of misinformation?
In wrapping this report up, it is worth noting that each one of the rival publishers has at times praised this publication publicly and in writing. It is worth noting, as our 10th anniversary approaches in being the runaway most read industry trade media that the praise from rivals took place before our understanding of the deeper causes of the industry’s underperformance became more clear through such fact checks, research, and exposes.
Are Clayton and ‘big boy’ firms in the manufactured home industry using Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) connected operations to manipulate the market? Are they mislead mainstream media outlets like the Wall Street Journal (WSJ)? If so, why? Are they covering up the true causes as to why manufactured housing is at historically low levels 15 years after Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway purchased Clayton? Are the declines in the past year also the result of collusion, misinformation, and market manipulation? The questions are many.
Given that millions need affordable housing, the issues are serious to severe.
No wonder a community leader called on the Feds to dig deeper into Clayton, their lenders, and MHI.
No wonder more professionals and manufactured homeowners alike are asking the Snopes to fact-check the claims against Clayton Homes. Let’s note anew that Clayton, their inside counsel, MHI, and their outside counsel have all been invited to respond to these reports. They’ve repeatedly declined to do so.
That’s your second Monday report from your #1, most-read trade media — here at your home of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.
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