Trends and Diversification in the Factory-Built Home Industry
Wherry, Gavin Dennys
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The factory-built housing industry, while originating from mobile homes, has seen new industry-segments emerge such as, for example, modular, panelized, and pre-cut homes. These new segments have promoted the ability of existing producers to diversify. As producers of factory-built homes merge their production capabilities amongst these industry-segments the structure and the capacity of the industry is profoundly changing. This study looks at both the manufactured home industry-segment as well as the entire factory-built home industry to analyze how the current state of the industry is positioned to drive these foreseeable changes. Analysis of the manufactured home industry-segment is highlighted by econometric modeling of market share data across manufactured housings' product life-cycle curve. Results of this modeling mimic three periods of product life cycle change that ends with the current market share decline. Being so, it is concluded that manufactured housing firms are currently seeking fight or flight strategies to combat deepening market share losses. Producers of manufactured housing who persist in this industry-segment will confront mounting consolidation whereas producers who flee are likely to undergo strategic transformations. A mail questionnaire alternatively targeted the U.S. factory-built home industry to assess how diversification currently impacts industry structure and market share positioning. Results of this questionnaire reveal that two-product producers are strategically diversifying to hedge current demand fluctuations in the U.S. residential home market while also promoting market share positions. As a result it is concluded that product diversification positively impacts market share growth within the factory-built home industry.
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