Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

Driverless Trucks Coming to Big Box, Will Emerging Tech Impact Manufactured Housing Deliveries?

June 24th, 2019 Comments off



Still from video below.

Big box retailer Walmart – and other retailers like Amazon – are exploring the use of automated, driverless trucking technologies, says Newsmax and other sources. 


It is a development that the trucking industry is keenly aware of, so should manufactured home movers be concerned? 

Let’s start this report with some background.

Amongthe first driverless semi-trucks is already driving, legally, on the highway’s of Nevada. Businessweek’s Sam Grobart went to Las, Vegas for a test drive,” said Bloomberg. That video report is posted below.



There is a severe shortage of truck drivers that exceeds 60,000 unfilled long-haul positions, according the American Trucking Associations. 

Walmart Inc. came to dominate retailing through its mastery of logistics—the complicated choreography of getting goods from farm or factory to the consumer. But even the world’s biggest store doesn’t make money selling its wares online in the U.S., largely due to runaway shipping costs. So Walmart (WMT) is turning to robots,” according to Newsmax.

Walmart’s U.S. chief logistics professional, Greg Foran recently took reporters to a curbside package pickup kiosk outside its supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas. Three Ford delivery vans there were outfitted with self-driving technology developed by a Gatik, a Silicon Valley startup. Gatik aims at cutting Walmart’s middle-mile shipping costs in half. Going driverless in pursuit of profit is a “no-brainer,” Foran said.

It’s not driverless taxis, but driverless trucks that some experts say are looming just ahead.

Moving products, not to customers, but between “middle miles” could reach $1 a trillion market and could provide retailers with the fastest path to prosperity.

This area has the least number of obstacles and the most certain return on invested capital in the near term,” said analyst Mike Ramsey, with consulting firm Gartner Inc. “If you’re looking to start a business where you can actually generate revenue, this has fewer barriers than the taxi market.”

This middle mile is the most expensive part of the whole supply chain; it’s a huge pain point,” said Gautam Narang, CEO of Gatik, the firm attempting to automate Walmart’s “hub and spoke” warehouse system. “This fills a big gap in the market.”

Anything on driverless delivery that is a milk run is a good application for autonomy,” said Sherif Marakby, chief executive officer of Ford’s autonomous vehicles unit. “B2C is a complex implementation for autonomy that will come with time, but B2B just makes it easier because you get volume and you can be more predictable.”

Put differently, those on the inside of these developing technologies say that business-to-business, or B2B, delivery is easiest way to navigate to profitability in driverless trucking. It has less complex than ride-hailing or driverless delivery business to consumers, known as B2C or the last-mile.


Is This Potentially Going to Impact Manufactured Home Trucking Soon?

The short answer, according to producers who are independent as well as those working in large industry companies, ‘no.’

Not even close [to being implemented in manufactured home transport],” said one of the largest producers of manufactured homes in the U.S. “Packages and house [are] two different thing and ROI long way out.”

An independent producer told MHProNews that “They aren’t even using robotics in… [HUD Code manufactured home] factories. Oversized loads will be an extreme challenge for driverless vehicles. The home is never in one lane, programming to be outside of any legal driving envelope will be a huge challenge in my opinion.”

No one said they are aware of any such plans to move manufactured homes autonomous of a human driver at present. That should be comforting to manufactured home ‘toter’ drivers.

Be that as it may, trucking labor shortages, new tax incentives to invest in equipment or automation, and other factors could turn “not even close” into something that might be tested in the foreseeable future. MHProNews will monitor such emerging trends in business and report as relevant.



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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsNOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. Connect on LinkedIn here.(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)


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Related Reports:

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Billion Dollar Startup Modular Builder, Using Robotics, Could Soon Rival Clayton Homes’ Total Sales





Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

June 3rd, 2019 Comments off



According to Rueter’s and Yahoo Finance, “The U.S. Justice Department is preparing an investigation of Alphabet Inc’s Google to determine whether the tech giant broke antitrust law in operating its sprawling online businesses, two sources familiar with the matter said.”


Officials from the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and Federal Trade Commission, which both enforce antitrust law, met in recent weeks to give Justice jurisdiction over Google,” according to those sources, and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which broke the story.

This word from Washington, D.C. will fuel speculation that Berkshire Hathaway brands, along with other tech giants that impact manufactured housing and the nation, will soon become more visible targets of antitrust regulatory scrutiny. Those who’ve relied on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their industry trade mouthpieces would have had no clue that this has been brewing for years. Meanwhile, MHProNews has been covering this developing topic from several angles for years. Our sister site has been laying the foundation for understanding on MHLivingNews too, in reports like the one linked below.



In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. MHProNews has given these firms an opportunity to refute or clarify the issues and concerns raised.  They and MHI have all declined responses.


Pivoting back to the Google-specific matter, this could be welcome news for manufactured housing industry professionals for several reasons.

Google declined comment initially, but DOJ would not confirm or deny the claim of an antitrust investigation. It’s worth noting that the European Union (EU) has fined Google billions for prior antitrust concerns.

During the Obama Administration, there was DOJ and FTC pressure on Google, but it went nowhere substantially. In April, 2016, the left-of-center news source – the Intercept – reported that “the Google lobbyist with the most White House visits, Johanna Shelton, visited 128 times, far more” than others. The Obama Administration and the tech giants – including Google – had a cozy relationship, by several mainstream media accounts.=

Lawmakers have complained about alleged political bias, its plans in China, and more.


“For the Good of Consumers and Competition”

TripAdvisor remains concerned about Google’s practices in the United States, the EU and throughout the world,” TripAdvisor chief executive and co-founder Stephen Kaufer said in a statement, adding: “For the good of consumers and competition on the internet, we welcome any renewed interest by U.S. regulators into Google’s anticompetitive behavior.” Note to first time visitors, MHProNews often takes direct quotes and turns them bold and brown to make them pop, but otherwise the content is as stated.

This is very big news, and overdue,” Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican Google critic, said on Twitter with respect to this investigation.  In that, he joined President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who said that Google is a threat to democracy.


Brad Says POTUS Trump is Right: More than Facebook & Twitter, Google Threatens Democracy, Online Freedom


This has become an increasingly bi-partisan issue, as what follows will reflect. While MHI devotees fly into Washington, D.C. today, will this even be a topic, unless a brave member raises the relevant questions?


The Broader Antitrust Picture and Manufactured Housing

As MHProNews has previously reported, several Democratic lawmakers and 2020 presidential hopeful candidates have made antitrust part of their platform.  Among the most visible to date has been Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D), who has renounced any corporate contributions in favor of individual donors.  Perhaps of more import to manufactured housing industry firms, Warren has sent off a round of formal letters of inquiry to manufactured home community operators. See that MHProNews exclusive report, linked here.

Even more specifically, Democratic Senators have asked the CFPB to take steps to curb allegations of predatory behavior by Clayton Homes and their lenders, see that recent report, linked here.

Senator Cory Booker (NJ-D) threw down an antitrust gauntlet with ABC News, in a video and report posted below.


Senator Cory Booker – ‘We Need a President…to Enforce Antitrust Laws,’ Digging Warren, POTUS Trump


Daily Business News on MHProNews reported in 2018 that the Trump Administration had prepared an antitrust executive order.


Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews


This trade media platform also reported Democratic steps taken, such as the one below.


Lina Khan, AntiTrust Legal Queen, Set to Join Democratic Staff, FAANG & BM, Beware – Plus MH Market Updates


Sources have told MHProNews that Berkshire Hathaway has ‘beefed up’ its antitrust legal team, perhaps in anticipation of just such an expected move. That may also explain why Berkshire’s industry players who have allegedly been involved in allegations of antitrust and other potentially corrupt practices have remained silent when asked about this topic.



Learn more at this link here, here, and here.

MHProNews will continue to monitor this developing issue. Antitrust is likely to be a significant part of the 2020 debate.  Consolidation and monopolization is a concern across numerous industries, and manufactured housing is one of them. To learn more about this topic which is expected to expand to other giant firms, click the links above, or further below the byline and notices.

That’s this Monday morning’s first look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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Related Reports:

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Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg Discusses Antitrust Breaking Up, What Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer, MHI Can Learn, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates


“November Rain” – DoJ’s Top Antitrust Cop – Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim ABA Speech on Antitrust Enforcement for Americans

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‘Use Government to Handcuff Your Rivals, Clever’ – Stossel

November 14th, 2018 Comments off



Still from video below, but the headline graphic is by MHProNews.

What’s the “Enemy of Capitalism?”  That’s a question that John Stossel asks in this thought-provoking video.


There are good reasons for taking a ‘wheat and chaff’ approach to information sourcing. Sometimes it will be the Washington Post, but at other times, it may be the Washington Examiner or the Hill. A progressive may be wrong on some topics but could be correct on another.  The same is true for a Democrat, libertarian, or a given Republican, etc.


Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources.  


In a brand new video, John Stossel takes a look at the question, “who is the enemy of capitalism?”

The video opens with democratic socialist supporter Senator Bernie Sanders recent attack on: Amazon. Sanders said Amazon didn’t pay its workers enough and because of that, many qualified for government assistance.

Stossel build the narrative, one step at a time, until he gets to the headline statement, above.  So don’t bail 3 minutes into a video that is less than 7 minutes long, and has had 10x more views in a day than Clayton Homes’ image campaign video has had in a year.


To see our fact check of the Clayton image campaign, see the new report, linked here.


Stossel nails in a general way an issue that MHProNews has raised for years that is specifically impacts manufactured housing.  Namely, that Big Companies are using the levers of government power to outmaneuver, force out of business, or even gobble up smaller firms.



It’s a vexing pattern that goes beyond our industry, but must be grasped with open eyes by MH Professionals – including those who work for a giant company like Clayton. ICYMI, see the related reports, linked below. That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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Capitalism, Socialism, & Manufactured Housing




Facebook, Marketing & News – Manufactured Housing Pros, Sarah Miller, ‘Citizens Against Monopoly’ Sound the Alarm

June 19th, 2018 Comments off


We got word that [Tuesday], Facebook Inc. is inviting Capitol Hill staffers to Washington DC’s “newest, most exclusive event venue” for free food and drinks. Events like this enable Facebook to peddle influence in the halls of power, and keep lawmakers from cracking down on its abuse of our democracy.”

So begins a statement by Sarah Miller, of Citizens Against Monopoly to the manufactured housing (MH) industry’s Daily Business News received at 8:15 PM last night. CAM is a subset of the Open Markets Institute, which promotes prosperity and liberty, including through their antitrust efforts.

MH industry marketing professionals are among the sources who have raised concerns over the enormous – and still growing – power that Facebook and Google have in marketing manufactured housing.

Voices across the left-right divide have increasingly been concerned too, because they exert so much sway over politicians.

But among those-laser focused on the issue is a group called Citizens Against Monopoly (CAM).

So we would like to extend the RSVP to you, the Citizens Against Monopoly community,” stated their message, about the latest Facebook lobbying move.

Some details about the Facebook event follow.


“A Place to Connect, D.C.”, bringing together “the D.C. community and Facebook” for “conversation and product demos”


The Showroom, 1099 14th St NW, Washington, D.C.

When: 1:30 pm – 7:30 pm, June 19



CAM on Facebook’s Lobbying

In the first quarter of 2018, Facebook spent $3.3 million lobbying the U.S. government, more than ever before,” CAM’s Miller told MHProNews.That’s a key part of how it builds power and evades accountability, and events like this one are part of the process.”

At “A Place to Connect,” Facebook’s #3 executive and top lobbyists will be schmoozing the people who are supposed to represent us, and trying to bamboozle Congress into believing that the company’s reforms are for real,” Miller said.

For instance, a former corporate lawyer who is now Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer will try to argue that Facebook is stepping it up on privacy — all actual evidence to the contrary,” she asserts.

Industry readers may have seen Facebook’s ads on cable TV and elsewhere. Facebook is pitching their reforms to the public, ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke.

But critics say that Facebook has failed to seriously address the fact that they played a significant role in former President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election effort, as did Google. Given their enormous power in online search, Facebook and Google are among those forces that can help make or break a candidate.

Other presenters will be discussing Facebook’s role in the opioid crisis and its approach to election integrity, vital topics that are in the national interest. Facebook is billing the event as a “conversation” — if that’s the case, the people affected by Facebook’s bad behavior should be in the room to ask the tough questions,” Miller said to MHProNews.

With so much at stake in the debate over Facebook and the future of internet privacy, your voice deserves to be heard. So if you’re able, show up and ensure that the public is represented,” CAM stated.


Facts About Facebook, Google’s Growing Power

A December 2017 report by Statista said, “In fact, two companies, you may know them by the names of Google and Facebook, are so dominant in the online world that they account for more than 60 percent of global online ad revenues.”

Many mainstream news operations are alarmed at how much ad money – and thus political power – Facebook and Google have accumulated.  Warren Buffett is among those who have said that many media outlets will fail as a result.


The trend lines are similar to the trend lines in manufactured housing consolidation, see that chart, further below.

Among the concerns are the fact that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg himself said in congressional testimony that there is a strong bias against conservatives, and for leftist, so-called “progressive” political causes.

New York Stern university’s Scott Galloway has been cited previously as a pro-tech voice, that believes that the Big Four must be broken up.

The RSVP is for the Facebook D.C. event is linked below.


While most industry pros are unlikely to be able to attend on such short notice, Citizens Against Monopoly provide the following link to ask the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to break up Facebook.

Sign the Freedom From Facebook petition: Tell the Federal Trade Commission to break up Facebook’s monopoly.


Industry Trade Media and Monopoly Reporting

Regular, longtime readers know that MHProNews has cited similar concerns over the monopolistic influence over the industry exerted by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. To see how others in the mainstream media have raised similar concerns about Berkshire Hathaway’s increasingly monopolistic domination of manufactured housing, see the related reports links below.

Among the manufactured home industry’s trade media, or those in MH who blog, etc., MHProNews has stood largely alone in raising concerns about monopoly power in the industry.

To their credit, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in their reports has raised alarms over Berkshire Hathaway brands like Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt.

But MH industry bloggers and publishers are happily taking ad money from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and are largely silent on the disturbing trends. Many in MHVille believe that MHI is dominated by Berkshire Hathaway and their related interests.

One industry blogger that does periodic MH news admitted that “1,000” manufactured home industry professionals are talking about the influence of monopoly in MH, but that only MHProNews is focused on the subject. That MH blogger succumbed months ago to running more pro-MHI news too.

Given the trend lines of industry consolidation, it is a subject that no industry professional or investor can reasonably ignore.

When Republican Senator Ted Cruz (TX) and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) are both speaking up about the corrosive influence of these monopolies, isn’t it time for more industry pros to sit up and take notice? These linked related reports can be read later, for more details.

Breakup “Massive Power” of Giants, “Subvert Our Democratic Process” Says Senator Cruz, & MH CEO’s Call for “Fully Competitive Housing Access”

Along with Apple and Microsoft, operations that are racing towards a trillion dollars in market cap which may be obtained next year, and how that can “suck the oxygen” out of the room for capital and competitors, as Galloway has said.


In the recently decided anti-trust case, some argued for AT&T that their survival is dependent on growth.

When a giant like AT&T, or Walmart are concerned about the rise of FANG or Amazon, and industry pros fret over the power of Berkshire Hathaway in MHVille, isn’t it a common-sense concern that federal regulators and advocates ought to address?


Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, or named entities. 

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Related Reports:

Clayton Homes, Top 25 Manufactured Housing Industry Report, Trend Lines

Wall Street Journal – Tech Giants are Monopolistic Threat to Businesses, U.S. Economy

“Audit the Algorithm!” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and Google Monopoly – Manufactured Housing Marketers Notice

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?


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“Audit the Algorithm!” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and Google Monopoly – Manufactured Housing Marketers Notice

May 14th, 2018 Comments off


Americans respond to print media, signage and off-line marketing methods, as attentive manufactured housing industry professionals know.


That noted, the research says that most home shoppers at some point are shopping online.

According to research by Google and the National Association of Realtors, 90 percent of housing shoppers are doing at least some of that shopping online.

Rephrased, that means that manufactured housing professionals are beholding, and to a real extent, are at the mercy of what Google and Facebook’s algorithms dictate.

What that means is that the search-tech giants have a huge influence over manufactured homes, or other housing searches.  That same point – the influence of Google and Facebook – can be made about their influence over the news millions consume.

That concentration of monopolistic economic power has caused concerns among the mainstream media, politicos and others.


A Striking Admission by Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg

There are times that admissions are made by powerful people that deserve to be etched into the memories of manufactured housing industry professionals.


Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is already a force in manufactured housing marketing.  Before the recent concerns, he was widely rumored to be a Democratic contender for president. What’s certain is that he and other tech giants can influence who the next president or other elected officials are.. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that Silicon Valley is an “extremely left-leaning place,” per the Washington Times.

That four-word candid admission by Zuckerberg speaks volumes.

It isn’t just billionaire Zuckerberg who leans left, is what he is admitting. High profile Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Berkshire Hathaway leaders all do too.  Why? And why does it matter?

NewsCorp, the parent to Fox News, is calling for an outside audit of the algorithms the tech giants are using, per the Deadline, because of the enormous power they have over the marketplace.


To illustrate the power NewsCorp and others are fretting about, Drudge recently reported that:

  • Google is the number one website online,
  • Facebook is number two,
  • and Google parent Alphabet owned YouTube is now number three.

Everything else online pales in comparison.

That monopolistic power in search means Alphabet-Google-YouTube and Facebook influences news consumption.

It also means that ad revenue is increasingly concentrated in the hands of the tech giants, not local or even national media.

Warren Buffett has admitted that newspapers as we know them are dying, and he owns a number of media outlets. “It’s difficult to see how the print product survives over time,” Buffett has said.


Left and Right, the Anti-Monopolistic Fight?

If the Democratic Party really is the people’s party, why have so many Democrats kissed up to billionaires for so long? It’s an issue for progressives among Democrats, question that Elizabeth Warren and others have wrestled with.  Taking on the giant monopolies is part of the “Better Deal” the Democrats rolled several months ago.

Elizabeth Warren is among those calling for a breakup of monopolistic power.  By doing so, some argue, it will boost the economy, fuel more businesses, create more jobs, and thus make wages go higher too.

As MHProNews has reported, there are voices ranging from the far left to the far right calling to control or break up the monopolies.  Right leaning Breitbart, was joined by left leaning Fortune recently, with the following concern.

The mere size, power, and mostly unregulated conduct of the digital monopolies—Facebook, Alphabet [parent to Google and YouTube], Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft — as well as the unprecedented scale and speed with which personal data is collected and turned into predictive algorithms, creates an omniscient, opaque machinery that threatens to erode the very foundation of American democracy,” wrote Moran Cerf, Sandra Matz, and Guy Rolnik. 


Winner Take All?

The digital economy has turned into a winner-takes-all arena, with a small number of companies controlling large parts of the market. The resulting lack of competition can potentially hinder innovation and entrepreneurial growth and exacerbate inequalities in labor markets. Companies like Amazon, for example, can strong-arm taxation systems and recruit our best and brightest talent to work on tasks that are crucial to its business,” said the trio of writers for Fortune.

News flash, to industry professionals.  If it is “winner take all,” that means that the vast majority of businesses will become the losers.

Specifically, they can employ anti-trust rules aggressively to break existing digital monopolies (i.e. break down Google into smaller corporations that are not allowed to share user data or resources)… Prior government interventions, such as the successful anti-trust regulation of Bell Labswhich resulted in the growth of Silicon Valley—could serve as role models,” per Fortune.

In fact, standing up to digital monopolies is in corporations’ best self-interest…If Alphabet decided to enter the real estate brokerage market tomorrow, the sheer amount of data it holds on individuals from all over the world would make it a leading competitor overnight,” said Fortune.

The article added, “While many of the digital monopolies have started out under the ethos of audacious social missions—such as “connect the world” (Facebook) and “organize the world’s information” (Google)—their current practices make their missions sound more like “exploit human vulnerabilities” or “claim the maximum amount of user attention.”

NewsCorp says audit and regulate them.

But others are saying there is a need to break up these giants.

Scott Galloway is one the Daily Business News has mentioned before. The same principle applies to other giants, which are found in the related report links below.  Note that left and right news media videos above and below show that the interest spans the spectrum.

But the takeaway for marketers, investors and industry professionals is this.

The midterms are rushing up.  There ought to be a push to ask politicos where they stand on the problems of modern monopolies. Will they support those who believe that breaking up the monopolies is good for the majority of businesses, and is good long term for jobs and the vast majority of people?

There is still time to act.  We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Affordable Housing Revolt! Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Video Responds to “Breakup” Growing Monopoly, and Manufactured Housing

Meet the Modular Housing Builder Google Picked, and their “Industrial Cathedral”

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?



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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for
Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and


Tech’s Tumble, POTUS Trump & Antitrust Panel Discussion and Potential MH Industry Impact

March 30th, 2018 Comments off


Among the nation’s many trillion-dollar sectors is housing.

So as tech has taken it’s hit this past week, is it a passing blip?  Or is it as Axios and other media sources suggest, the start of something bigger?

This panel discussion on right-of-center Fox Business looks at some of the factors beyond President Trump and the growing calls in the U.S. for regulatory action – or even a break up – of the tech giants. With markets closed today, this is a timely topic that directly and indirectly can impact the flow of capital.

Will some of that capital flow into manufactured housing?  Should it?

Billions have been pouring into manufactured housing in recent years.  But will even more investment capital be attracted?

Investor$, Manufactured Housing, and Proof of Concept

That related report on why investors may find manufactured housing appealing, is linked above. This is one more aspect of the news through the lens of manufactured housing. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

“Winners and Losers,” L2 Founder, Prof Scott Galloway on Monopolies

March 28th, 2018 Comments off


The Daily Business News has been raising concerns about monopolies – notably those that impact manufactured housing – for some time.


Ultimately, as L2 Founder, and NY Stern Professor Scott Galloway explains, certain monopolies impact everyone.  For example, when Amazon puts companies out of business, that eliminates jobs.  Those employers and workers may have been possible consumers for our industry’s products.

What Galloway explains anew in this recent video is how important independent – small businesses – are to an economy.  And the underlying message is that the public, public officials and politicos should be doing something about it.  His example includes Amazon, which was our market focus tonight.  Keep in mind that Amazon sells container housing via its website.


When one recognizes the impact of a few mega companies on all others in manufactured housing, those who aren’t with a giant should realize that the clock is ticking; and the mega-corps will be the winners, unless action is taken.

Which is why the Trump Administration, and people across the left-right political and media divide are increasingly tuned into the issue of regulating, or breaking up, the monopolies.

Ignore the trends at your peril.

Deep pocket investor?  There’s a different strategy for billion dollar hedge funds and other fearless billionaires to consider, which will be examined in an upcoming report.  The bloom isn’t going to fall of the tech rose, at least, not all at once.  What is going to be increasingly obvious is what an amazing opportunity manufactured housing is, for those with the proper long-term strategy.


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Related: Example of how the smaller player is outperforming the larger one…

Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

Related: The Nation on Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

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Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), What Role Will Trillionaire Firms Play in Factory Built Housing?

January 27th, 2018 Comments off


There’s a race on between the giant 3 As of the tech world.

Which will become the first trillion-dollar operation?


Analysts project that in about 12 months, Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet – the parent company to Google –  could hit the $1 trillion-dollar mark in valuation.

As the Daily Business News has previously reported, several of the tech giants are dabbling directly or indirectly in the world of factory-built housing.

In one sense, their realities give them little choice.

Housing for their workers is a problem. So, of course they will be focusing on solutions for those kinds of issues.

The composite Google search results from this morning – shown below – provides a snapshot of the realities.


With affordability an issue, as the housing news search above demonstrates, the tech giants are both compelled – and will be attracted into – the world of factory built homes.

  • When Apple announced that it will repatriate over $200 billion dollars due to tax reform,
  • with over 200 U.S. companies announcing bonuses and pay hikes to workers, that positively impact millions of Americans,
  • with President Trump’s Davos trip theme of “America is Open for Business” to the titans of international commerce being widely hailed, even by many in an often-critical press,
  • with consumer confidence at or near record highs,
  • with business confidence high,
  • with unemployment is at or near historic lows,
  • with immigration related issues moving towards – yes, hard to believe based upon the political theater – the first stage of resolutions,
  • and housing affordability and millions of housing units need,

those bullets all read like a road map for investors into the universal need for more quality, affordable housing.

That in turn has and will continue to lead investors into affordable factory-built housing. Which has already led some in tech into various kinds of prefab or modular housing, as we reported throughout 2017.

Meet the Modular Housing Builder Google Picked, and their “Industrial Cathedral”

Survey Top 2017 PreFab, Modular, Tiny and 3D Printed Housing News Stories

But others will “discover” that manufactured homes are very different than the stigmatized stereotype projects. That’s when the Sam Zell mantra – when others are going right, look left – will take root with a growing number of tech companies, hedge funds, and other deep pocket players searching for smart, sustainable value.


Private Equity Fund Grabbing 2 PreFab Home Builders

Given the fact that:

  • production backlogs of HUD Code manufactured homes are several months deep,
  • new plants are scheduled to come online,
  • manufactured housing – which outsells modular, as the example from Skyline below reflects – will doubtlessly get its share of the investment pie.

83 percent of Skyline’s production, per the graphic above, is from HUD Code manufactured homes. 9 percent is from modular homes. The other 8 percent are categorized as “park models,’ which some would see as similar to ‘tiny houses.’ Learn more, at this link here.


Housing, Housing, Housing…

The latest announced shakeup at HUD is a signal, Daily Business News’ sources tell us, that the Trump Administration is recognizing the potential, importance and value of manufactured housing in the mix of the nation’s total housing outlook.

Keep in mind that Vice President Mike Pence is from Indiana, which is the ‘birthplace’ of manufactured homes.  Sources there tell MHProNews that VP Pence understands HUD code homes – even our industry’s lingo – far better than most politicos.


As MHLivingNews reported during the campaign, one of President Trump’s family businesses – building – has direct exposure to high-end prefabs.

So the foundation for a federal policy more embracing of factory-built homes exists.

These are among the reasons why MHProNews early, loudly, and proudly promoted Team Trump during and since the 2016 campaign.  The background and policy positions of the Trump/Pence ticket were clearly superior to those of Secretary Hillary Clinton.  2017 and early 2018 economic news has proven that to be an accurate assessment.


While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, MHProNews and the Kovach family supported Donald J. Trump’s candidacy as the best for the industry, small business and hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those stories ended up on the president’s campaign website, plus on numerous news, conservative, and pro-Trump websites.

The Latest Big Deal…

The Skyline-Champion deal has and will cause more investors to take a new, fresh look at manufactured and modular homes.  As last night’s market report reflected, the stock has soared in the wake of the announcement.

Skyline – Insider Trade$, Institutional Owner Move$ – Plus Manufactured Housing Market Update$

The manufactured housing REITs and publicly traded companies that have land-lease communities have had a strong, steady performance, even in the face of the headwinds caused by the Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

For a snapshot of the market impact, see the links from last night’s MH connected market report for the 1 Year Post-Election trends of the various companies the Daily Business News tracks better and in more detail than anyone else in the manufactured housing industry’s trade media.

Big Toe in the Water…

While it’s a arguably a pittance to start, Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s toe into the manufactured home chattel lending waters has drawn headlines, and that also means, investors’ eyes too.

FHFA Publishes Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Underserved Markets Plans for Duty to Serve (DTS) Program

England’s financial services giant Legal and General has taken a direct dive into modular housing.  Plus L&G has reported investments in U.S. based Cavco Industries (CVCO), the current #3 producer of HUD Code manufactured homes.

Capital has and will seek ways to be deployed in areas of opportunity.  Housing may not be quite as sexy as tech, AI and self-driving vehicles for some.  But it very much fits the mold of a market that is already attracting new capital, and is poised to draw in even more.

The chart posted below is a reminder of the tremendous upside opportunities for manufactured housing, within the broader conventional housing market.


The list of promising indicators are so numerous, that a book is needed, not an article.

Thus this post is designed to provide a flavor of known facts, trends, and links to more details about the dynamics behind it all.

Investors, Investors…

Investors are reaching out to and researching MHProNews and MHLivingNews – directly and indirectly.  Why?  Because they find these to be a superior resource for their research.  The same can be said about public officials.

Beyond messages and conversations, website and third-party statistics provide insights of why these sister-trade-media-platforms are well received by the public, professionals, and politicos alike.

“Controversial Topics” Exist in Part as Answers to Tough Questions from Outsiders Looking at HUD Code Manufactured Homes

The controversial topics that cause some in MHVille angst, are in fact a necessary part of the industry’s reality check.

They answer questions that investors and industry pros alike are posing.

The articles linked herein take a deeper dive into some of the related topics.

Manufactured housing underwent a major shakeup after the industry’s downturn that began in 1998.

The Warren Buffett/Clayton/Vanderbilt/21st/MHI related articles are designed in part to answer a common question from investors.

Among the questions or lenders and investors?

For those who have seen and touched the product, “How is it that manufactured housing hasn’t already taken off?”



Interview videos with experts – such as the one above – help answer that question.

The video below helps answers concerns that arise from informed public officials.  The written reports that compliment those two and other videos we’ve produced over the years round out fact-based insights that intelligent investors, shoppers, and others want answers to; today.



The Powerful Insights from the Clayton Video Interview

The thumbnail link to the Kevin Clayton video interview has now been placed on the MHProNews home page.



That interview is akin to a road-map for the industry’s story in recent years in several ways.

Combined with our related reports, that interview video helps explain several of the dynamics on how and why so many in manufactured housing have struggled when it should be soaring. It explains why and how Clayton – via Berkshire and “the moat” – gobbled up such big pieces of the industry in a relatively short period of time.

Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

The Clayton interview and related report – linked above – also plainly states what the billionaires and the billion-dollar corporations want to know.

Namely, what must others do to be successful in a sustainable way in manufactured housing?


Study!  Research!  Facts! Expert Guidance! Understanding! 

Warren Buffett’s success, as Kevin Clayton mentioned, is due in part to the Berkshire Hathaway chairman’s studious ‘professorial’ approach, and ongoing research.

The advantage Buffett has wielded is understanding.

Understanding is what reduces risk, says Buffett, and can lead to maximum opportunities.

The Alan Amy and Mike Harrison videos each make or underscore points that the factory-built housing industry’s current and incoming professionals must grasp.

They are?

  • Alan Amy states the obvious truth that is hiding in plain sight. Manufactured housing is the future. That’s why people like Buffett or real estate/investment mogul Sam Zell are in the business, and why they continue to try to increase their presence.


  • Mike Harrison is one of several possible examples of how quickly manufactured housing can be used to develop – or redevelop – properties with hundreds of homes, in a short time-frame.


While MHI’s strategic initiative will draw some attention, what is already known about it is typical of their work.  They’re behind, not ahead.

Part of the evidence is Barry Noffsinger with Credit Human fine job of explaining for MHProNews reader/viewers almost a year ago several of the same points – in several ways, better – and certainly for less money.



The irony is that “the moat” -building Berkshire boys are growing at a slower pace than the industry at large is. That’s based upon their own and MHI’s data.

Further, if you listen to Kevin Clayton’s video and look at their current number of retail locations, one must draw the conclusion that they reduced the number of retail locations in recent years by about 100.

While reducing many of their own retail centers, Clayton Homes purchased others from independents. Among those purchased by Clayton, were operations our consulting side had involvement with.  Most of their profits aren’t from retail, they are from finance.

Facts simply are. None of those are slams.  Rather, they are reality-checks that are precisely the kinds of insights that investors and professionals alike ought to crave.

Clayton arguably would be doing better – and certainly the industry at large would be doing better – if they had not killed off/forced out hundreds of competing companies, as “the Moat” article above lays out and links up in more detail.  Keep in mind that IBISWorld/The Atlantic projected that it would occur.  So these are not mere opinions, they are observable realities that objective researchers will uncover if they but look.

Those researchers are looking here and on MHLivingNews.

Our upcoming exclusive focus group videos and reports continue to build on the body of evidence that manufactured housing is the future, and can routinely yield happy home owners.

So, while there is a certain ‘tension’ between the elephant-in-the-room (Berkshire’s manufactured housing units, the rest of the industry and outsiders looking in); the behavior of the Omaha/Knoxville/MHI axis could be a case study as to why anti-trust (anti-monopoly) laws exist in the first place.

MH Resistance – Unmasking, Demystifying, Manufactured Housing Industry’s Roadblocks

Anti-trust laws exist because it is overall bad for business, bad for consumers and bad for the economy at large — even if it may seem to specifically benefit a given ‘trust.’

Faster Growth Outside of the Giants

Independent producers, such as Sunshine Homes, have been growing at more than double pace of Clayton and Cavco.

Publisher Rebuked! Doubting Doctor, Skeptic Stunned!

Independent retailers and selling communities – such as New Durham Estates and others – are growing at a far faster pace than the industry ‘leaders.’

One takeaway is clear.

Free enterprise works when its allowed to work.

Taking the foot off the regulatory break – a foot that Buffett and others helped put and keep in office with President Barack Obama – will naturally be good for business.

While people can hate or love his tweets, President Trump – the builder/entertainer/communicator – is reopening America for business.

Housing Hunger…a Necessity That Must Be Fixed

Realtors are hungry for more affordable inventory.

Realtor’s website joined Bloomberg, Fox and HousingWire in 2015 in proclaiming the role that manufactured homes need to make in the nation’s housing supply.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

MHI continues to communicate problematic narratives to Washington (e.g.: stressing manufactured housing as predominantly “rural housing” is arguably one of several tactical/strategic errors they’ve made for years).

But the reality of MH being successfully used in urban and suburban settings has been a theme that MHLivingNews and MHProNews have spotlighted for years.


Appealing Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Marketing, Finance Booklet Reviewed

In the pre-MHI president and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison era, MHI’s staff were far better at grasping and pointing to those urban and suburban uses.  See the report, linked above.

Until those within and outside of MHVille fully grasp the amazing benefits of the ‘two great laws‘ already on federal books that could benefit manufactured housing, the industry will not reach its potential.

But the reverse is true.  Applying those two great laws are part of what the savvy players are banking on.

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

Only Patient Research, Sufficient Resources and Expertise Will Sustainably Succeed

It’s a complex industry at first.

Warren Buffett’s Political Payoff$, THIPS, and Manufactured Housing

There are many moving parts.

The politics of the industry and its associations are not instantly grasped.

Too many within the industry’s own ranks are not clear on just how great the upside potential truly is.

None of those claims should be construed as a slam. They are demonstrably true, as sources tell us or admit.

But the reason that the latest ‘big deal’ – Skyline Champion – is a signal to:

  • investors,
  • housing/policy advocates,
  • public officials and
  • those in the industry

is precisely the reasons why the tech giants and billions being unleashed in the America economy will attract billions of investor dollars into factory-built housing.

While no one can say how many billion that will be, the math is clear.

For those who understand or learn about the HUD Code manufactured home industry’s two already existent great laws, it ought to be obvious.

Manufactured homes are, as Alan Amy wisely said, the housing of the future.

Some might call all of the above our opinion.

But it’s the view from a veteran of the industry, not just a ‘reporter.’  That combination of veteran and consulting experiences, combined with our daily research and reports places us in that enviable Masthead perch.



It’s a fact. You can see farther from atop the Masthead than you can from the deck of the ship. It’s not bragging if it’s true.

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By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, parent to MHProNews, and

Both are #1 in their categories.

For consulting and business development, other professional services, click here.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.

The Top 10 American Corporations, Manufactured Homes, and PreFab Housing

December 4th, 2017 Comments off

TopTenMegaCorpsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsEvery professional adult interacts/or is impacted by every Top 10 U.S. based giant periodically.

But odds are excellent that manufactured housing operations, and interests like your business, are impacted daily – either directly, or indirectly – by the top 6 mega-corporations shown in the infographic below.

There are also many possible takeaways for the forward-thinking manufactured housing professional to be found in this Top 10 list.

3 Time Frames: Top 10 Corps. – 100 Years Ago, 50 Years Ago & Nov 2017

To reflect how rapidly change can occur, the market cap at the opening bell for Amazon today was $562.34B, per Nasdaq. That nearly $20 billion more than it was when this chart below was created.

But look back 100 years, to 1917.  Not one of those then-giant companies are in the top ten today.

From 1967 – 50 years ago, and within the lifetime of thousands in the manufactured housing industry today – once giant Kodak is no more.  The dominant retail player 5 decades ago was Sears, which has long since been supplanted, first by Walmart, and more recently, by Amazon.


As MHProNews noted in a pre-dawn report this morning, the top 2 publicly-traded giants in manufactured housing in 2000 – plus Palm Harbor Homes, others – melted away, filed bankruptcy, reorganized, etc.  Today’s dominant players in manufactured housing look to be just as unstoppable as many believed the old-2000 era Fleetwood and Champion Homes were then.


Today, the Fleetwood and Palm Harbor brands are subsidiaries of Cavco, and the Champion brand was reconstituted as a privately-owned firm.

Given the fact that manufactured housing’s #1 Clayton Homes and #2 Cavco Industries – per their own data – are growing at a slower pace than the industry at large, are there already possible warning signs that some in MHVille are overlooking? Are there vulnerabilities that these 2 largest HUD Code firms have that other competitors could exploit?

To answer that, what does this top 10 corporations chart tell you is the answer for such questions?

Impact of the “Tech Lords”

Apple and Microsoft are known by virtually everyone, and interacts/impacts with virtually daily.

Alphabet is “now the parent company of Google and several former Google subsidiaries,” says Wikipedia.  So, it’s used by – and their search results and ads impact – the manufactured housing industry in a big ways.

Google’s Going Modular Housing

Google and a former Amazon exec (see linked article below) are dabbling in prefab housing.

Inside MH – Not Every Democrat, Not Every Republican – Politically Incorrect, Factually Accurate

Will the tech giants dive into factory-built housing more deeply?  If so, shouldn’t we expect a big, disruptive market impact?

Microsoft may be diving into prefab homes soon too.

Bill Gates’ Subsidiary Belmont Plans Smart City of Future, What Role Will Factory Built Homes Play?

The same could happen with Facebook, which along side Google, are huge vehicles for marketing today.  Any chance these moves influenced Warren Buffett’s deeper buy into Apple, while selling off IBM?

Dive, Survive, or Thrive?

For mom-and-pop to even mid-sized manufactured housing operations to survive and thrive in this era of mega-corporations requires a strategy that based upon reality.  Wishful thinking and head-in-the-sand behavior simply won’t work.


If you are an independent, or provide products and services to independents, never forget this graphic below by the left-of-center media outlet, the Atlantic.




Political Impact of the Mega-Corps, Which Also Impacts the MH Industry

The political reality behind these top corporations are worth noting.

JP Morgan’s well-known leader is Jaime Dimon, a Democratic supporter who recently pushed the tax reform plan in a big, public way.

Why Democratic Leaning Jaime Dimon, of JP Morgan, Calls Americans to Support Tax Reform

Johnson and Johnson CEO, Alex Gorsky, has served as part of the Trump Administration’s American Manufacturing Council.

That said, the bulk of these giants tilt left.  Their leadership tends to favor Democratic candidates in their politics.

Warren Buffett has sizable stakes in Wells Fargo, and as previously reported, a growing stake in Apple.

All 6 of the top mega-corporations have a pro-Democratic tilt.


Never forget who Warren Buffett (right) supported, and that Hillary Clinton, left, was for higher taxes and strengthening the CFPB. Credit – Boston Globe.  More recently, Buffett on POTUS Trump, and politics is linked here.

So, when Democratic senators or congressional reps are trash-talking about ‘soaking the rich,’ are they really, truly going to go after those who are the core of their donor-base in recent election cycles?  Isn’t that ‘soak the rich’ just political spin, designed to make the masses feel good, while the truth is quite different?

Money, power, and politics have always mixed in America.

But as award-winning Marty Lavin has observed, pay more attention to what people do than what they say, and follow the money.


Lavin is an MHI award-winner, and a success story in communities, retail, and finance.

When you follow that money, much of it leads back to these top 10 mega corporations, which touch our industry and consumers in a myriad of ways, day-by-day.

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$58,000 PreFabs, Videos, Updates of More Hi-Tech Backers

November 14th, 2017 Comments off

BlokableUpdateCurbedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNwesMHProNewsThis report should be viewed as a book-end to yesterday’s Daily Business News report that Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, is planning a ‘state of the art’ city of the future west of Phoenix, AZ.

It’s only been four months since the Daily Business News spotlighted, Blokable.

That firm also has a tech-connection behind the bold start-up.  Among the backers?  Ties to Microsoft, and Amazon.

Our previous report to Blokable, is linked below.

Blokable – Making “Housing As Easy as Ordering A Car”

The Amazon veteran executive has said there’s no way that the housing crisis can be solved by using current construction methods.

There’s no way the current way we’re building is going to solve the problem,” Aaron Holm said, per Curbed.  

Are industry professionals who read Holm’s comment going to dismiss the notion that Bill Gates is going to see conventional construction as the centerpiece for his planned City of the Future, Belmont?

Bill Gates’ Subsidiary Belmont Plans Smart City of Future, What Role Will Factory Built Homes Play?

Blokable, Refresher

The Blokable units are costly when calculated on a per-square foot basis, far higher than HUD Code manufactured homes.

The base-units are designed for workforce housing, the homeless, vets, and other ‘lower cost, higher density’ types of uses.

Holm said they have three project now underway.

The first MicroBloks, per Curbed, are scheduled for installation in January in:

  • Seattle, working with a firm called Compass Housing Alliance,
  • in East Palo Alto, CA with a non-profit named Soup, and
  • in the Vancouver area with the local housing authority.

These units will cost between $58,000 and $85,000, depending on the level of customization and furnishing,” crowed Curbed.

The units are…“18 to 34 feet in length, cost $150 to $350 per square foot,” says Curbed, which then misstates reality of this type of pre-fab – vs. others – by claiming that by “manufacturing [Blokables] in a central facility, both the design and building processes are cut in half.”  Clearly, they’re higher than many modular builders, and far higher than upscale manufactured homes too.

But when you watch this video presentation by Holms himself, below, notice that some of the facts cited by Curbed are stated differently by the former Amazon exec?  Note too the investor interest?  And the ‘shot’ taken at manufactured housing?

These Developing Stories Reflect the True State of Manufactured Housing, in Nov 2017…

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Yes, there’s tremendous opportunities and some are capitalizing on them, as yesterday’s 15 minute video seminar report – linked further below – reflected.

The Curbed story also underscores why even some housing focused media writers can get obvious facts wrong (i.e. $150 to $350 per sq foot isn’t half price of conventional SF housing costs, or other disconnects between what Curb reported and what Holm himself said on the video above).

There clearly are forward thinkers and doers in manufactured housing (see yesterday’s post on MH Best Practices, linked below).

But so long as the industry in general allows the drift of the image of manufactured housing to continue, the rise of ‘single wide’ and manufactured home alternatives are bound to continue.

Manufactured Housing Monday Morning Sales Meeting: Finance & Industry Facts, Figures, Sales Tip$ Improving Best Practice$


Clearly, there are serious efforts to improve the industry’s image at the local level.  More could join them, as was noted in the report above.  But until the relatively modest shipment levels the industry is currently in are lifted far higher, the industry is arguably operating in a vulnerable, endangered zone.

See yesterday’s manufactured home related, best practices report, above. We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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