Let’s begin with an analogy. Toyota today issued a recall on 168,000 vehicles, said Newsday. Just a week ago, Consumer Reports said that Toyota has recalled over 900,000 vehicles for stall. Do manufactured home industry professionals think those numbers prevent people from buying a Toyota? Is it unfair for media – or trade publishers – to cover that news? “Toyota sold around 10.4 million vehicles in the fiscal year that ended in March 2018,” said Statista. Corporate News said that “…nearly 2.5 million [Toyotas were sold] in the U.S…in 2016.”
Rephrased, Toyota sold more vehicles last year then the total number of pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and post-HUD Code manufactured homes currently exist in U.S.
There is a demonstrably different response to media reports about problems with conventional housing, or automobiles, then there are to negative news about manufactured homes. Why is that so?
That may not seem fair, but industry pros and investors need to grasp the reality and learn how to navigate and deal with it.
Clayton’s Service Woes Repeatedly in Mainstream News Stories
While Clayton is the subject at the heart of this service/customer satisfaction controversy, the Clayton Homes/ABC News story video is a lesson for the industry at large. That MHVille’s industry’s professionals and investors care about this story is proven by the tremendous interest, and considerable feedback. ICYMI, or want a refresher and to see the video, see our Daily Business News on MHProNews report at the link below.
The follow up report has also drawn comments and thousands of hits. ICYMI, or need a refresher, see those above and below.
Factory Rep’s Comments on Service Issues
With that backdrop, look at what a factory representative emailed as a news tip/comment to MHProNews.
He used just one of many cases to make his point.
“Only one more day for the service tech, [and he] would have finished this customers home. Yet, the service tech, takes off to another job and the customer is left with unfinished work. Why? I don’t know,” said a HUD Code manufactured home builder’s representative, in a message for publication to the Daily Business News to MHProNews.
“It is very costly to a mfg the more times they visit a home! Well, because no one returned to complete this customers home, they filed a complaint with the state…[edited out comments, that might reveal the source]…All because of, just one more day!! All mfg deal with this because they don’t have a good plan for servicing the product they build!!! Customer satisfaction should be #1, to get customer referrals!! Enough said!!”
Powerful thoughts. He’s not the only one who has said similarly.
Other Industry Reactions About Clayton, etc.
MHProNews has heard from communities and retailers who have dropped Clayton, over service and quality issues. There are also those who have said that they want to drop Clayton product.
By contrast, there was a Clayton cheerleader from the community sector that publicly defended Clayton, see the report below.
So, the reactions have been across the board. That’s reflected in this and prior reports. Clayton was contacted for comments. They opted not to respond, after numerous outreaches at the retail, factory and home office levels. Rephrased, this thread of reports about Clayton and service has been balanced.
NOTICE & Reminder
Manufactured home corporate readers who want to comment and/or provide a news tip, off the record, are reminded to do so from an email address that is NOT a company email. For more details, see the below.
Why This Matters to MHVille Pros?
Stating the obvious, millions of people want the truth. Sane people, savvy professionals, investors, and owners want facts, not fiction or mere feel-good. Facts are actionable. By contrast, mere feelings or emotion can lead people astray.
As we approach the end of our 9th year, with the date of our launch on Oct. 15, 2009 MHProNews is having a record month with readers. In spite of everything that opponents of this trade media have thrown our way over the past 36 months (+/-), we have more readers than ever before.
What the Toyota story and statistics at the top reminds thinkers and doers in MHVille is the following.
Our manufactured home and factory-built housing industry – right, wrong, or meh – demonstrably aren’t treated the same by:
- public officials,
- the mainstream media, and
- the public at large as are other industries.
- But why?
Part of the reason is arguably failures on the post-production side of the industry. By way of comparison, in years gone by, there were plenty of automotive industry executives who feared promoting automotive safety. It was controversial to show videos of automotive crash tests. But in hindsight, by doing that, car-truck-SUV makers took some of the public sting out of the tens of thousands of deaths that occur every year in auto accidents.
Manufactured housing doesn’t have to be perfect to be of tremendous value. As our publisher has said for years, a possible choice only need be better in one or more ways than other options for it to be selected by buyers.
The Clayton service errors stories have multiple possible lessons learned. The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) certainly isn’t defending non-member Clayton Homes. But MHARR routinely says that the industry’s overall quality is the best ever. The relatively low numbers of service complaints for the industry reflects the wisdom and reality of MHARR’s points. Reports from state dispute resolution reports go to states, and flow into HUD too. There are just very few of them.
One of several takeaways here is that manufactured housing in general tends to suffer from things that Clayton does or fails to do. That’s not a mere opinion by a writer, it is the feedback from others in MHVille. That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © © (News, analysis, and commentary.)
(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)
1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.
2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.
3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources