Champion Home Builders Inc.
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Joe Atwood
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Throughout its long history, Champion Home Builders Inc. has been acknowledged as a leader in the manufactured housing industry and one of the largest modular homebuilders in North America. Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, Champion specializes in building a wide variety of manufactured, modular and mobile homes, as well as park models and commercial modular buildings.
Champion was founded in 1953 in Dryden, Michigan, by Walter W. Clark and Henry E. George. During that first year, each mobile, manufactured and modular home was built by hand at a pace of two per week. Since then, Champion has built over 1.7 million modular, mobile and manufactured homes, and continues to transform the factory-built housing industry by expanding its product offerings and developing creative solutions for affordable, quality housing.
A national reach
As a nationwide company, Champion manages 16 plants throughout the United States, and five in Canada, where it maintains a strong presence. The company also recently opened a plant in the United Kingdom. Champion has a strong presence in its home state of Michigan where it holds the No. 1 share of the market of all home manufacturers. “That is due to some great long-term relationships with a lot of park owners throughout the state,” says Keith Anderson, CEO of Champion. “With Michigan being one of the larger states in the country, we’re very proud to maintain such a good share here.”
With its national footprint, Champion is one of the largest manufacturers of modular homes in North America. This has allowed Champion to stand out from its competition within the industry. “We aim to be known as the highest quality and service provider in the industry and that sets us apart from competitors,” says Anderson. “We stand behind all of our products to maintain that status.”
Champion’s target market varies from first-time homeowners to retirement communities. “We have a broad consumer focus,” Anderson explains. “We’re really working to build and expand our e-commerce presence to reach all of our consumer groups. We think that the future of homebuying will be similar to the way people currently purchase cars online.”
The Champion team remains proud of the work the company recently completed in Williston, North Dakota. In just under three years, Champion built two hotels as well as a number of single-family homes, duplexes, town homes and apartments. “This was a matter of feeding a market that lacked the skilled labor and was trying to grow quickly with cost considerations,” says Anderson.
Another market that Champion has focused heavily on in recent years is senior housing. This sector ranges from affordable senior housing to long-term care, nursing homes and special care facilities. “It’s a broad range,” says Anderson. “We have completed many of these and have two that are currently in the process of being finalized: one in Wisconsin and one in Michigan.”
Due to its continued performance providing high-quality products and services, Champion has been selected by Marriott Hotels as the preferred modular partner to work with the hotel chain’s franchisees to build units across the country. “This will lead Champion in an Energy Star way due to Marriott’s demands and requests to be a leader in energy efficiency,” Anderson explains. “We’ve been approved and now we’re building a modular unit that will be shipped to the company’s annual Marriott International National Association (MINA) and Full Service Owners Conference.”
Throughout the industry, Champion is known for the Ultimate Kitchen, which is a specific kitchen design known for its modern amenities and features. When the company launched this program more than 10 years ago, 12,000 units were sold. Champion recently launched the Ultimate Kitchen II promotion. “We wanted to keep up the pace with that, so we updated the design and relaunched it,” says Anderson. “The Ultimate Kitchen II is being built in six different plants throughout the country.”
Continuing a tradition of customer satisfaction
When it comes to measuring success of Champion on an annual basis, the company aims higher than the bottom line. While margin size can be the lifeblood of any organization, Champion looks at customer satisfaction as a key performance indicator. “We are firm believers that yesterday’s sales and satisfaction with each consumer will create new sales and customers for the future,” says Anderson.
Generating new customers will help Champion expand into new markets, which according to Anderson, is the immediate plan for the company. “Our focus is on expanding our product array and markets where the consumer demand is driving us,” he says. “That is in various points across the country, which may mean expanding with our retail locations as well as new plants.”
Whether it’s a first-time homebuyer, a growing family in need of a larger home or an empty nester looking to downsize, Champion has a factory-built home design to fit any lifestyle. With its vast selection of floor plans, options and home decors, Champion Home Builders Inc. remains a national leader in producing quality, manufactured modular homes.
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