New Hybrid Vehicle Helps S. Stibbards & Sons Stay Environmentally Friendly

S. Stibbards & Sons are one of the oldest established funeral directors in Essex, with a history steeped in tradition.  However when it came time to replace one of their private transfer vehicles they were keen to embrace new technologies and felt that Superior UK Automotive’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle would help reduce costs whilst helping to improve the general environment.

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“Superior UK had been recommended to us for the quality of their decks and robustness of their hydraulic systems,” explained Stuart Stibbards-Fryer, Head of Fleet Management and fifth generation of the Stibbards family. “Jon Helm came out to see us at our head office in Hadleigh and we soon realised Superior UK offered a refreshingly different level of service. We talked to Jon about what we needed in a private transfer vehicle, and felt very confident leaving it in his hands.”

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S. Stibbards & Sons was founded in 1867 and now has six offices in the local area of Southend-on-Sea, with a coroner’s contract for the area to service as well, the vehicle had to be reliable, professional-looking, and hard working.

Superior UK Automotive welcomed the opportunity to deliver their first mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (mHEV) van.

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The new vehicle is finished in metallic Kapoor red to match Stibbards signature branding. The vehicle is a long wheel base uprated to 3.2 tonne. Custom built extra storage in front of the hydraulic decks adds to the normal under deck storage typical of a Superior Rise & Fall deck system and meets Stibbards bespoke requirements.

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Kevin Smith from Superior UK explained why this was an exciting project.

“Stuart took a very hands-on approach and knew exactly what the company needed,” he said. “The Ford Transit Custom is a first for both Superior UK and Stibbards as it is based on the latest EcoBlue diesel mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle. It’s a great-looking, very practical vehicle which helps Stibbards play their part by being environmentally friendly without compromising the practical requirements of long-distance work.”


This is a blog post from Superior UK Automotive – our main website is here.

W S Ingham & Son New High-Spec Vito Removal Vehicle Matches Fleet

W S Ingham & Son are no strangers to upgrading their fleet with the very latest vehicles – last year, they took delivery of a Pilato Jaguar GrandAurora hearse and two XJ limousines. When the decision was made to replace a removal vehicle with brand-new vehicle, they once again turned to Superior UK.

001 Ingham Vito exterior

Tony Ingham is third generation of the Ingham family, and runs the business with his mother Pat with help from his fiancee Debbie.

“We are a modern, progressive funeral business and we like our vehicles to reflect our values,” he explained. “Our Pilato Jaguar ceremonial vehicles certainly do that – they are stunning. We wanted our newest removal vehicle to have similar wow-factor.”

Tony was happy to have another Mercedes Vito removal vehicle, but knew he wanted a bespoke, high-spec version. He asked the team at Superior UK to create a vehicle that would perfectly fit the needs of his busy funeral firm.

“We worked with Superior UK last year for those amazing Pilato Jaguar fleet vehicles, and I completely trust Kevin to handle any vehicle request,” said Tony. “Superior’s customer service and communication are second to none, and they really understand the needs of funeral directors. We have a great relationship, there is no need to look anywhere else.”

Tony had seen Superior UK’s Vito and knew the spec he wanted, including the Superior UK Rise&Fall decking and plenty of storage.

002 Ingham Vito deck

W S Ingham’s new high-spec Vito is finished in Selenite metallic grey to match his Pilato Jaguar fleet vehicles. The result is a slick and great-looking fleet of top-end funeral vehicles, bespoke inside and out.

003 Ingham Vito deck

“Our new Vito was created for us and really makes life easier,” said Tony. “We’ve since had our fleet vehicles fitted with Superior UK’s hygiene screens so we can offer families the best possible service even at these strange times. Superior have been a great help throughout.”

This is a blog post from Superior UK Automotive – our main website is here.

G Seller & Co Take Delivery Of New Vito Tourer Removal Vehicle

G Seller & Co are a busy family funeral firm based in Hinckley, covering a large area of Leicestershire. Joseph Barsby, Managing Director and third generation of the Barsby family to come into the company, asked Superior UK Automotive to provide a bespoke Vito Tourer to support the business.

Vito Tourer G Seller (2)

“I knew exactly what we needed from a new removal vehicle, and I was confident that Kevin and the team at Superior UK would be able to help,” said Joseph. “We discussed all the options, and then I purchased the Vito and sent it to Superior UK to be fitted out.”


When the Vito arrived at Superior UK HQ, it was basic and white – the perfect blank canvas for creating a fit-for-purpose funeral vehicle. The Superior UK team got to work creating Joseph’s vision, including installation of a bespoke storage system for permanent housing of kit. The team also built individual storage boxes allowing easy access to the stretchers from the tailgate.


The decking was finished in a modern smart Grey Laminate and delivered to a delighted Joseph and colleagues.

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“We are very happy with our new Vito, and highly recommend Superior UK for an excellent service, and a collaborative approach to creating truly bespoke vehicles,” said Joseph.

This is a blog post from Superior UK Automotive. Our main website is here.

Superior UK Creates Temporary Protective Screen For Limousines During Lockdown

The funeral industry continues to deliver crucial support to families facing extra levels of stress during bereavement, and funeral directors must protect people travelling in fleet vehicles.

Superior UK’s smart solution creates a hygienic partition, so funeral directors can offer a continued level of service.

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The temporary Perspex Protective Screen is suitable for all makes and models of limousines. The non-invasive installation clips onto head restraints, leaving no marks.

Kevin Smith from Superior UK explained how the Perspex Protective Screen is helping his customers provide a traditional funeral for families.

“This hygiene screen means funeral directors can continue to provide families a dignified experience, with one limousine per family, for minimum disruption at such a hard time,” he said. “We will be in a lockdown situation for some time. These temporary partitions are a smart solution to a delicate challenge.”

Three New PilatoMercedes “Polaris” Hearses For FC Douch Of Dorset


When Jonathan Stretch and Nick Douch of FC Douch heard that Pilato were building a hearse, they knew they had to see it. Following a trip to the Pilato factory in Italy with Kevin Smith from Superior UK Automotive, the Douch family placed an order for six PilatoMercedes ceremonial vehicles – three hearses and three limousines. Jonathan Stretch told us how the Polaris hearses have been received.

“We have been ordering funeral vehicles from Superior UK for 15 years,” he said, “and have had over 25 vehicles from them over the years. When Superior UK became official partners of Pilato, we knew we had to see those vehicles.”

FC Douch is an independent funeral director, with seven offices and two coroners’ contracts throughout Dorset and on the Isle of Purbeck. Founded by Frederick “FC” Douch in 1910, the business remains owned and run by the family.

“When it was time to renew our previous hearses, we were adamant that we wanted to stick with Mercedes,” said Jonathan. “They are so reliable and economical to run. We asked Kevin for advice. He invited us out to the Pilato factory in Italy to meet with the team there and see some vehicles in build.”

The only problem Jonathan and Nick faced was making a decision on the final details of their vehicles.

“We were absolutely spoiled for choice at Pilato,” said Jonathon. “They offer a bespoke service even down the colour of the stitching on the interior of the vehicle.”

FC Douch opted for metallic black hearses, to reflect their traditional values, with an illuminated coffin chamber and Superior Rise&Fall decking.


“Our hearses function like a shop window for the quality of our services,” Jonathan said. “The Polaris hearse is so well illuminated and shows the coffin off in a unique way.

“We opted for electric rear doors – the first time we have had this feature in a hearse – and pull out decking made by Superior which can be lowered to showcase the coffin when there is a big floral tribute.”


Kevin Smith from Superior UK Automotive says it was a pleasure as always to help Nick and Jonathan with their vehicles.

“Our families have worked together for many years now and it is always a pleasure to help the Douch family with their vehicle orders. They have a very clear idea of what they want, and it is an honour to work with Pilato in Italy to bring that vision to life,” he said.

“During the visit to Pilato, we carried out a consultation and put together a fantastic specification. The vehicles are finished in metallic black paintwork with bespoke wheel centre caps and tailgate glass logo. The coffin chamber is trimmed with leather appointments and warm LED lighting. The result is a stunning hearse that keeps FC Douch’s fleet modern, traditional, and eye-catching.”


The third of FC Douch’s three Polaris hearses was delivered at the end of February, and the cars have been received very well.

“They look fantastic,” said Jonathan. “They are striking but subtle, with unmistakable Italian flair. We are extremely happy with them, and now look forward to the arrival of our three PilatoMercedes limousines later in the year.”

“Three New PilatoMercedes “Polaris” Hearses For FC Douch Of Dorset” is a post from the Superior UK Automotive blog – our main website is here.

Superior Automotive UK – Here For You During COVID-19

A message from the Superior UK management team

Dear Funeral Professionals,

As the UK enters a second week of “lockdown” due to COVID-19, and the world continues to respond to rapid changes, we want to reassure you of the situation here at Superior Automotive UK.

We are still open, albeit on reduced staffing as we take all necessary measures to protect the safety of our staff and their families.

Our head office near Reading is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, and our workshop is active.

We continue to supply parts (where available), and we are doing plenty of repair work and removal vehicle builds.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we have been inundated with enquiries about removal vehicles. We are building van-based Rise&Fall decks as quickly as possible. Here are some of the vans we are working on at the time of writing.
VW T6 Int Side DrawerVW T6 Int Deck

At present we have two Rise&Fall deck removal vehicles available – a black metallic VW Transporter 4MOTION and a Silver metallic Vito – but please get in touch with any other enquiries.

VW T6STK754 Vito 114
We are here to help and support you, your families, and your businesses during this time. If you require our assistance during the lockdown, or as the situation changes, please get in touch with the team:

Kevin Smith
Head Office, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm

T: 0118 971 4444


Greg Platt (Northern Area)

T: 07968 195 722


Jon Helm (Southern Area)

T: 07879 252 224


With best wishes from all at Superior UK Automotive.


Second Vito Makes Matching Pair for F Cobbett & Sons

F Cobbett & Sons Funeral Directors, who operate six funeral homes in South London as Evershed Brothers, have taken delivery of a brand-new custom Vito removal vehicle. Warwick Cobbett explains why he decided to order a second Vito to match his existing 17-plate vehicle.

Cobbett new Vito

“In addition to having six branches in London, our vehicles make long trips in the UK and even outside of the country,” says Warwick. “We need removal vehicles that are exceptionally reliable and spacious, but also look the part.”

Warwick had previously ordered a customised Vito from Superior UK Automotive, and has been so pleased with the vehicle that he knew he wanted a second identical van to standardise his private ambulances.

Cobbett Vito side

“Our 17-plate Vito was the first vehicle we had from Superior, and since then we have developed a good relationship with Kevin and his team. In 2018, we ordered a Pilato hearse and have been very happy with the service from Superior.

“When the time came to replace our second removal vehicle, I knew I wanted a matching Vito from Superior. It is great to have a standardised look and performance across our vehicles.”

Cobbett Vito rear interior

Kevin Smith from Superior UK was delighted to assist Warwick with his second Vito.

“Warwick asked us to replicate his 17-plate Vito, so we customised the decks to accommodate a repatriation casket on the top and bottom decks, installed an Auden wheeled bier and finished the Vito off with a fully lined VIP kit, air-conditioning, navigation and automatic transmission. The only extra is the reversing cameras, which weren’t available when Warwick ordered his first Vito.”

Cobbett VIto side interior

With a pair of matching removal vehicles, each with a custom height deck and personalised spec, F Cobbett and Sons fleet is looking even more slick and professional.

“We are pleased to help Warwick with this quality vehicle which will keep up with the needs of his busy London funeral firm for many years to come,” says Kevin Smith of Superior UK.

F Cobbett & Sons operate under Evershed Brothers. The family firm has been operating since 1924 and Warwick is third generation of the Cobbett family.

Second Vito Makes Matching Pair for F Cobbett & Sons is a blog post from Superior UK Automotive – our main website is here.

Customised Extra-Long Vito Makes Life Easier For Douch Family Funeral Directors

Douch Family Funeral Directors have seven offices and two coroners’ contracts, so their vehicles need to be reliable and up to the job. Jonathan Stretch explains why their most recent purchase of a removal vehicle goes the extra mile.

“Our previous removal vehicle was a Vito with a Superior UK Rise & Fall deck, but we needed more space,” says Jonathan. “We have used Superior for all our fleet vehicles for well over a decade, so I approached them and asked what they could do. When they explained that we could have our existing lift moved across to a new extra-long Vito, I knew we had found the ideal solution.”

With the exception of one Ford ambulance, Douch’s fleet is made up of Mercedes vehicles supplied over the last 15 years by Superior UK, so Jonathan knew he wanted to stick with the Mercedes mark.

“Mercedes is a great brand which is economical and holds its value,” he says. “Superior UK are always able to supply us with exactly what we need.”

Kevin Smith from Superior UK was delighted to supply Douch Family Funeral Directors with their latest vehicle.

Douch new extra long Vito

“We enjoy a good relationship with the Douch family, having first served them in 2005 with a fleet of new Binz Mercedes hearse and limousines,” he says. “We have built upon that first encounter and continue to enjoy supplying the family with quality vehicles which support their professionalism.”

“Douch’s new Vito is something quite different to the norm, equipped with a secondary bulkhead and storage area, making it perfect for such a busy funeral director firm with two coroners’ contracts.”

Douch new extra long Vito interior

Jonathan’s investment in the new Vito was made easier by Superior’s ability to take the Rise & Fall decking out of their old van and move it into the new Vito.

“This is something we have wanted to do for a long time, and I’m so pleased it worked,” said Jonathan. “Superior serviced all the parts, gave it new hydraulics, and completely removed the lifts and put it into the new vehicle – this meant a great saving for us!”

Douch new extra long Vito side view

Douch’s new extra-long Vito means an extra 290mm behind the cab which is used as wardrobe space for staff suits and coats, making life much easier for this busy funeral firm. It also has inbuilt sat nav, so staff can get on the road faster.

“The new Vito is already turning heads,” says Jonathan. “It is a great addition to our fleet, and we thank Superior UK for helping us with another quality vehicle.”

Douch Family Funeral Directors has been owned and run by the family since 1910.

Is a post from Superior UK. Our main website is here.



GrandAurora Hearse Takes Scollen & Wright’s Fleet Into The Future

Scollen & Wright is an independent, family owned funeral director with six funeral homes serving a large area around Sunderland and Middlesbrough. With a well-respected standing in the industry, they need a fleet to suit their brand. Nigel Marston, General Manager, explains why he chose a Pilato Jaguar XF GrandAurora hearse.

01 Scollen Delivery 01

“We recently bought two new Cadillacs, so any new hearse needed to match them for prestige and wow-factor,” explains Nigel. “An ordinary hearse wouldn’t do. As soon as I saw the GrandAurora, I knew it would be right for our fleet.”

Scollen & Wright had an existing 2004 Jaguar XJ hearse, and whilst Nigel liked the Jaguar design and build, the vehicle was looking out of place next to the newer limousines.

Superior UK Automotive UK are Pilato’s approved partner and were pleased to show Nigel the stunning Pilato Jaguar XF GrandAurora. Nigel’s brief was a “modern and dynamic” hearse, and the vehicle met his requirements – and much more.

“I was drawn to the way the GrandAurora looks,” he says. “We work closely with the local community, including schools and community groups, and support lots of community initiatives. Members of our staff have written for trade publications, and we have won awards for customer service. We take great pride in the reputation we have built, and our vehicles need to be part of that.

“The GrandAurora really helps us reinforce the quality and standard of our service.”

Greg Platt, Superior UK’s Northern Area Sales Executive helped Nigel and his team design their perfect specification.

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“Nigel’s GrandAurora is beautifully finished in ultimate black metallic paintwork, complemented with a twin (light/dark) grey coffin chamber,” Greg says. “The roof lining is accentuated with a quilted leather centre piece which is back lit with LED downlighters and illuminated name plates. Large side glasses with wrap-around quarter-glass and a fully glazed tailgate mean the coffin chamber remains the main focus point. The Superior slide-out decking system and underdeck storage drawer make for very easy loading and unloading.”

01 Scollen Delivery 02

Scollen & Wright took delivery of the GrandAurora in October 2019 and the vehicle was almost immediately out on the road.

“The families are always very happy with it,” says Nigel. “With the GrandAurora, we have the best fleet in the area. It is a stunning vehicle that really fits in well with our image.”

Kevin Smith of Superior UK Automotive was proud to supply Nigel and his team with the amazing vehicle.

“It has been a real pleasure working with such a forward-thinking company,” he says. “Nigel looked into every detail and was very hands-on with the process. Scollen & Wright is a very modern business, and it is only fitting that they have a hearse that reflects their values. The Pilato GrandAurora ticks all the boxes.”

“GrandAurora Hearse Takes Scollen & Wright’s Fleet Into The Future” is a post from Superior Automotive UK. Our main website is here.


JG Fielder Upgrade to Vito With the Help of Superior UK Automotive

JG Fielder & Son are a large independent funeral director, with six branches across North Yorkshire. Their vehicles go a lot of miles: not only does the business have six locations, but regularly does hospital runs across the entire country.

When the time came to update one of the removal vehicles, partners Victor and Chris Fielder knew it was important to invest in a reliable and purpose-built vehicle. Chris tells us why JG Fielder & Son decided on a bespoke Vito from Superior UK Automotive.

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“We like to run a relatively new fleet,” explains Chris, who represents the fifth generation at JG Fielder & Son. “Our removal vehicles tend to last two or three years because we run so many miles. Just this week we have been to Bedford, London, and Lancaster from our base here in North Yorkshire.

“We’ve previously had MPV type removal vehicles, but decided to upgrade to a van with purpose-built interior as we knew it would last longer.”

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Chris had seen Superior UK Automotive’s vehicles – including their Vito – at the National Funeral Exhibition some years ago. It evidently made a good impression, as he remembered the vehicle and got straight on the phone to Superior.

“We did look around too,” he says, “but no other company was offering the option of putting together our own specification at the level of finish we wanted, and there was nothing on the market to rival the Superior UK Vito.”

Greg Platt, Superior UK’s Northern Area Sales Executive, visited JG Fielder & Son to demonstrate some of the choices of interior to their new Vito, including the famous Rise&Fall lift system.

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“We already knew what we wanted in our Vito,” says Chris, “so it was great to see the layout in a real vehicle. Greg helped us decide on every detail and was happy to provide options on the interior – again, Superior UK were the only vehicle company we found willing to do this.”

Superior UK helped JG Fielder & Son decide on a spec for their Vito, creating a bespoke vehicle which was professional and functional with a really high-level finish.

Between order and delivery day, Superior UK kept in touch, giving Chris regular updates. The Vito was on the road within 20 minutes of delivery, and instantly became a key part of the fleet.

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“We do about 800 funerals a year over a large area,” Chris says. “Add hospital runs to that and you can imagine how busy our new Vito has been.

“It has made a huge difference, helping us save time and fuel. The extra space and the design of the interior means we can take 4 bodies at a time (instead of 2). The higher spec means it is comfortable to drive, which is important when we cover so many miles.

“The Rise&Fall decking is so easy to use, we would never go back to anything else. Not only is it easier for our drivers to operate, but the deck can be raised up to window level so people can see floral tribes more easily.”

Kevin Smith from Superior UK says it was a pleasure to help Chris Fielder and family with their first Vito removal vehicle.

“JG Fielder’s Vito was a first for us, too,” he says. “It was the first Superior UK Vito removal vehicle in the latest dark graphite grey metallic – a great colour for this vehicle, especially in its covert ‘MPV’ guise.

“Chris and Vic chose a great specification, opting for a Vito Premium with 7-speed automatic transmission, alloy wheels, air-conditioning and navigation. They asked us to fit the rear compartment with full VIP kit, all beautifully finished in burnt strand grey laminate. The result is a beautiful vehicle that is purpose built to make the job easier.”

This is a blog post from Superior Automotive UK – the main website is here.