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Ford’s Big Lead Dog, Teaches Manufactured Housing, Legal Q&A

March 20th, 2019



If you’re not the lead dog, the scenery never changes,” said the Ford Motor Company on their Big [Lead] Dog commercial’s YouTube page.


Ford’s Big Lead Dog commercial comes in two lengths on YouTube.  One has had over 8.5 million views as of this date. That number is nearly equal to the total number of every pre-and-post HUD Code manufactured home in the U.S.



That 8.5 million views is above and beyond the tens of millions who’ve seen their videos on cable, satellite, steaming or broadcast TV.



MHProNews isn’t advocating a traditional TV campaign, not now anyway. The point here is more subtle.

Ford sponsored the Verge’s home of the future modular building videos too. They’ve collectively been viewed by millions.



Ford sponsored these videos on modular home building. They’ve had millions of views collectively. Which begs the question. Berkshire Hathaway can afford the best of everything for their business units. Why aren’t they doing all that it takes to do videos, education, and marketing that actually works?


Clearly, when it comes to marketing Ford gets it. Compared to Clayton Homes, or the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) ‘story telling’ and ‘image building’ videos, one could argue that the later two don’t.  MHI made an outrageous – and at best misleading if not arguably false claim last fall – that their marketing reached some 84 million Americans.  If so, then why were there so few sales in 2018?



Warren Buffett was right about good but unfriendly journalists asking the questions and doing the reports that others have not.

But despite the various prior failures, flubs, fumbles, and – apparent public yawns for Clayton’s latest campaign – they remain ‘the big dog’ in manufactured housing Why?  Is there something else at play here that is more subtle?



A Relevant Segue

An attorney tracking and otherwise motivated by the Cavco Industries (CVCO) issues called the Daily Business News on MHProNews this afternoon.  He called to ask questions, hear some input, and to say “thank you” and “well done” for the recent reports on the various types of purported market manipulation – past and current – in manufactured housing. That attorney – along with other ‘suits’ or lawyers engaged in Cavco and other “investigations” underway in MHVille – have found the reports, fact checks, and analysis here on the Daily Business News on MHProNewsto be useful.”

Some are among the new sign-ups for the emailed headline news that are delivered twice weekly to thousands of industry professionals.



To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.  


That’s mentioned for this reason. The normal logic of business doesn’t always apply to Warren Buffett’s Omaha based Berkshire Hathaway. For example, why doesn’t Buffett – who certainly understands synergy – not use the Berkshire Hathaway Media Group to do a periodic series on manufactured housing facts vs. myths or outdated notions?

Kevin Clayton obliquely explains that when he said on the video on the page linked here that “Warren” would be okay if Clayton lost money for five years, as long as the Moat was expanding. The normal logic doesn’t apply.



Through the Looking Glass, Darkly

MHProNews doesn’t claim to know every detail about what’s said and done in Knoxville at Clayton, 21st, or Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF). We don’t. That obvious disclaimer noted, we do get some tips and insights from sources at and/or connected to Knoxville and Arlington. There has also been some apparent ‘false flag’ or test ‘fake tips’ too from the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis. Thankfully, we haven’t yet bitten on a fake tip. But if we do, just recall that it was mentioned here first. We strive to verify claims and check claims against other sources.



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The point, with respect to the Ford commercial and Berkshire, Clayton, or MHI’s action (or inaction) on education and marketing is this. They don’t have to perform in the same way as most businesses want. They are learning from each ad, each campaign, and every test. Plus, they get to posture for the industry, and some pros buy that posturing. Our publisher has frankly ly admitted he bought into the posturing for a time too.

There is sincerely reported news that is inaccurate, as Robert Robotti told his colleagues in the investment world. That’s an important point. But it needs to be turned inward toward Manufactured Housing.  ICYMI earlier today, click the linked text-image box below.


“Out-Performing the Market” Robert Robotti, Value Investing, and Manufactured Housing


The HUD Code industry gets a steady diet of misleading, fake, or otherwise inaccurate reports. The public likewise gets a steady drone of problematic reporting that drowns out much of the truth about manufactured housing. That may sound far fetched, but only for those who won’t dig deeper.




Some 22 million Americans that live in pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and post code Manufactured Homes know that their homes do the job for them. It’s the most proven kind of permanent affordable housing in modern U.S. history. It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.




As Skyline’s Terry Decio once said, ‘I’m tired of being the best kept secret. I’m ready to help house Americans.’ That’s logical. But normal business logic demonstrably doesn’t work in the topsy-turvy world of manufactured housing, where some players want to consolidate ever bigger portions of the industry.  That’s accomplished by keeping industry sales low, which depresses the value of other businesses.  It’s value investing, via arguable market manipulation methods.


The Facts and Stats That Industry Pros Tell Us


Over 4000 hits in under 1 day on the Tunica Show “Fix the Manufactured Housing Tricks’ event. There were over 17,000 hits on the latest Clayton #MHM report in just 5 days. Beyond direct contacts from industry members, site traffic speaks volumes. MHMarketingSalesManagement is the original name for the site, and is at this time the biggest URL in traffic, but other URLs are getting their own traffic on the same content. Rephrased, the totals are higher than what is shown above. Industry pros are tired of the manipulation, and the signs are that they are ready to start the process for curing what ails the industry.


To Fix the Manufactured Housing industry Tricks, plan on attending the special discussion and pre-organizational meeting for a pro-growth post-production trade association on the afternoon of March 28th, immediately following the Tunica Show. Be there, it will be historic.  Make sure you are signed up for our emails, the Fix MH Industry Trick$ event updates will come via that MHProNews email list


Fix MH Industry Trick$ – Special Meeting at Tunica Show


In closing, let’s note that when it comes to industry trade media we are different. Perhaps that difference is what has made and kept us the Big Lead Dog in MHVille?  Thanks for making and keeping us #1. That’s tonight’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views That Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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