“Produce a home that our employees could afford and would be proud of themselves,” was the business philosophy of the late Jerry Wilson, founder and original General Manager of Buccaneer Homes. Since Buccaneer’s beginnings in 1971, the facility has been a backbone business to its hometown of Hamilton, Alabama, priding themselves in building affordable homes with a level of quality families can trust.
During Buccaneer’s first year of operation, the brand produced over 1,800 units. Astounding numbers today, especially considering the facility offered only five floor plans at that time. Before the decade was out, Wilson sold Buccaneer to North Carolina’s Brigadier Homes, Inc. Wilson founded Cavalier Homes, Inc. in 1984 in the neighboring town of Addison, Alabama. Two years later, Cavalier went public, having enough assets to be traded on the American Stock Exchange.
In 1987, Wilson bought back Buccaneer during an acquisition of six operating facilities owned by Brigadier, housing the newly purchased operations under the parent company Cavalier. After a 2009 merger with Southern Energy Homes, Inc., Cavalier joined the CMH Family of Brands umbrella, but the individual brands’ identities have remained intact.
“We’re one of the few facilities remaining that offer the array we do.”
Buccaneer formerly utilized as many as three facilities during the market boom of the 1990’s, but in recent years the brand has solely worked out of the original Hamilton, Alabama facility. After over 40 years working out of that facility, Buccaneer has upgraded, moving a mere five miles from the original to a renovated facility with modern technology and advancements. CMH Family of Brands, Buccaneer’s parent company today, provided the opportunity for the brand to move. “This kind of change wouldn’t be possible without the help of corporate,” said Sales Manager Ricky Tucker.
Today Buccaneer offers over 50 different floor plans, in addition to custom work, ranging from finished dry wall to small single wides. “We’re one of the few facilities remaining that offer the array we do,” said General Manager Ronnie Emerson. Often considered the “grandfather of all manufactured home producers in the state of Alabama”, the Buccaneer legacy has stood the test of time, remaining one of few home manufacturers able to say they’ve been in continuous operation for over 40 years.
While the quality and tradition of Buccaneer won’t change with the move to the new facility, the capabilities and safety conditions of the 235 person Buccaneer crew will. Remote controlled cranes and motorized decking and shingle systems will allow the crews to not only work more efficiently, but also in a safer environment. Physical limitations of the original facility previously restricted home size offerings, but the new facility is prepped to handle homes up to 84 feet in length, improving Buccaneer’s product line. The consolidation of the frame shop and home building facility under one roof have dramatically increased the team’s efficiency. A full lighting replacement inside the facility is suspected to yield an energy cost savings of upwards of $15,000.00 annually.
Often considered the “grandfather of all manufactured home producers in the state of Alabama,” the Buccaneer legacy has stood the test of time, remaining one of few home manufacturers able to say they’ve been in continuous operation for over 40 years.
July 19, 2013 marked a milestone for Buccaneer as the brand celebrated their official move to the new facility. “It’s a proud day. We’re proud of the opportunity we’ve been given. The facility is definitely world class,” said Emerson. “It’s a milestone I guess. I’m at a loss for words,” said Mark Peterson, a member of the Buccaneer team, who has spent the last 26 years working in the facility’s plumbing department. “It’s amazing. I was hired in 2005. To see where we are now, it’s a world of difference,” said Brandon Cothrum, a fork lift driver at the facility for the past seven years. “It’s exciting to see our people excited for the new facility. However, changing facilities doesn’t change who we are, what we do or what we stand for,” said Tucker.