Darren Krolewski, Co-President at MHVillage and publisher of their MHInsider magazine made another bold claim in their most recent issue. As regular and close readers of MHProNews fact-checks may recall, a problematic claim was made in their prior issue too, and no known correction of that factual error took place.
In that prior instance, they made an outrageously high claim for the number of new home sales that claimed were being made by a Clayton Homes retail center. Even MHProNews sources with Clayton denied the accuracy of the overblown MHInsider reported statistics.
In this fact-check instance, Krolewski personally said that in 2019, they had the biggest attendance of any Louisville Show in the 60-year history of the event.
First, common-sense alone tells an informed manufactured home industry reader or investor that when this segment of the factory-built home industry is at only about 75% under its last peak in 1998, that outrageous claim on its face doesn’t make much sense. There were thousands of more retailers years ago, not to mention more communities, suppliers, producers, lenders and so on.
Second, the industry today is doing only about 20 percent of what it produced in the early 1970s. See the shipment graphic, provided by another Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member, Skyline-Champion (SKY).
Third, Danny Ghorbani used to run the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show as a vice president for the Manufactured Housing Institute in the 1970s. When asked by MHProNews about the attendance, he said the show drew roughly 10,000 attendees a year back in the day. That would be several times higher than the 2019 turnout. Ghorbani stressed that the show was a national event then, and is only a regional show now.
Keep in mind as well that the number of new home display units in Louisville declined in 2019, a fact they show management, MHVillage, and MHI can’t hide. At its peak, by contrast, the Louisville Show used to have over 150 or more factory-built homes on display. That’s several times bigger than what the show has been in recent years. Homes used to occupy several show halls. This year, exhibitor space and display unit totals both decline. Is MHVillage/MHInsider giving cover to MHI for troubling signs ahead?
What Does This Obvious Error by MHVillage/MHInsider Means?
At a minimum, this is another example of either an obvious error that a manufactured home industry knowledgeable editor should catch, or perhaps is an example of a deliberately false or “fake news” claim. The problem is this is a pattern of repeated errors, not a one-off. See another recent example from MHInsider below. But why would they be making obviously mistaken or fake claims?
Legacy Housing monitored their results of their most recent promotion. Casey Mack, made the following statement. Additional details are found here and here, or further below. Rephrased, part of this might be puffery on the part of MHVillage/MHInsider. They may be posturing for the sake of advertisers. But beyond that, this purported pattern of “fake news” all seems to point in one direction. Namely, to make the readers of such false information believe that times are better than they actually are. The industry in numerous markets is in months of decline, not growth. Where is there such an admission by Krolewski, MHInsider, or MHI?
While several speculative notions could be floated as to why this occurs, one point is clear. MHInsider repeatedly themselves makes or publish the claims of others that appear exaggerated on their face or are perhaps deliberately misleading. Either way, it is part of an ongoing pattern that pro-Manufactured Housing Institute MHInsider has exhibited for some time.
For just one example of a growing industry crisis, where are their reports on problems like the one reported in MHVille only by MHProNews, in the hot-linked text-image box below?
These are the issues that cause manufactured home retailers real or metaphorical heartburn. Why doesn’t MHInsider, MHR, or other industry publishers aligned with MHI cover these same concerns?
Wittingly or not, these articles by MHInsider are akin to purported propaganda techniques being used by MHI, their surrogates, and select MHI members. While the industry is routinely being buffeted by several problematic issues, MHInsider routinely makes it seem that all is sunshine and roses, forgetting that the later always has thorns.
The Daily Business News on MHProNews believes in accuracy. While anyone – including us – can get typos or such accidental mistakes, factual errors beg for correction. Where is MHInsider’s mature admission of such mistakes?
Fake news or false hype are apparently aimed to make manufactured home industry pros and independents think things are better than they are. MHInsider, MHI, or MHR each provide examples that sadly don’t help manufactured home pros recover from the very real challenges faced in zoning, financing, public acceptance, and the like. These are issues that MHProNews, MHARR, NAMHCO, and others will be exploring at Tunica Thursday March 28 at 12:15 PM. We’ve documented the problems for some years, now it is time for industry professionals to organize and take the steps towards cures.
See the related reports below the byline for more on the special Tunica Show event. RSVP and sign up for our industry leading emailed headline news that sources say Krolewski, George Allen, and Ken Rishel – all MHInsider writers – among others read closely, per their confidants.
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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.
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