Three New Mercedes Vito Removal Vehicles For Heart Of England Co-operative

Superior-supplied vehicles now make up more than 50% of The Heart Of England Co-operative’s extensive fleet. Darryl Smith, General Manager of Funerals, told us what’s special about his latest delivery of three brand-new and personalised Vito removal vehicles.

Heart of England's 3 Vitos (1)

The Heart of England Co-operative is one of the most successful co-operative funeral businesses in the country, running a fleet of 27 vehicles to cover a large part of the Midlands. In September, Superior UK delivered three personalised, high-tech Mercedes Vito removal vehicles.

“We cover a large and busy area of the country,” explained Darryl Smith, The Heart of England Co-operative Society’s General Manager of Funerals. “We needed to replace some of our older removal vehicles, and used the opportunity to upgrade tonewer Vitos. The Vito has been our choice of first-call vehicle for many years, and Superior UK have always helped us to personalise the most updated version.”

The Heart Of England Co-op’s three new Mercedes Vito removal vehicles were designed to look like an MPV, not a van, with interior and exterior detailing that reflects the professional and modern image of this reputable local funeral service provider.

“We took the basic design of the Vito, and asked Superior UK to add sat nav systems, air conditioning, and exterior detailing that works beautifully with our signature Tenorite Grey paintwork,” Darryl explained. “We chose automatics to make them easier to drive. We are a modern and forward-thinking funeral business, and our fleet needs to reflect our values. The finished product looks like an MPV, which is exactly what we wanted.  They are great looking vehicles which are a dream to use.”

The three new Vito vehicles from Superior UK were designed to compliment the firm’s existing ceremonial vehicles, for an eye-catching and high-performance fleet. Every Vito in the fleet now has custom paintwork in Tenorite Grey, with colour-coded bumpers, alloy wheels, tinted windows, and chrome detailing.

Kevin Smith hands over Vitos to Darryl Smith

Kevin Smith of Superior UK said it was a pleasure to help Darryl Smith with the latest additions to his large fleet. “We have worked with the Heart of England Co-operative for many years, and always enjoy helping Darryl with the exact specifications he needs. His latest Vitos look fantastic and we were proud to deliver them. It was great to see them in their new home, with the other removal vehicles and limousines we have sourced for Darryl over the years.”

The Heart of England Co-operative now have a full Superior UK fleet of limousines and first call ambulances, with 14 of their 27-vehicles fleet provided by Superior UK.

“As always, Kevin and the entire Superior UK team were very helpful,” said Darryl. “Like me, he has spent his entire career in the funeral industry and he is really passionate about funeral vehicles. This makes the ordering process a pleasure. We spent plenty of time talking about the specs, and finalising the extra details I wanted to make these Vitos personalised and unique. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

The Heart of England’s new Vito vehicles have been well received by the co-operative’s drivers and the families they serve. Superior UK are proud to be part of the story.

“Three New Mercedes Vito Removal Vehicles For Heart Of England Co-operative” is a blog post from Superior UK – our main website is here.

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Two New Mercedes Benz Vitos Help AJ Wakely Cover Large Rural Area

With 10 offices covering a large expanse of three rural counties, AJ Wakely & Sons funeral directors need vehicles they can rely on. Director Clive Wakely explained why he opted to add two more Mercedes Benz Vitos to his hard working fleet.

“We are always busy,” said Clive, “and contracts with two coroners mean we need to get from A to B in less than an hour. Our private ambulances need to help us navigate that rural area quickly and without fuss.”

When Clive decided to replace his two 9-year old Vito removal vehicles, he briefly considered cheaper options to see if anything could match the Mercedes Benz Vito for performance and style.

“Even as we looked around, we always knew we would come back to Vitos,” explained Clive, who has run this kind of private ambulance since 2008. “They have a great reliability record and look so professional. It wasn’t long before we realised there was no reason to change to any other vehicle. There is a certain prestige to a Vito which no other vehicle can match.”

Wakely Mercedes Benz Vito delivery Superior UK

Superior UK have provided AJ Wakely & Sons with all of their previous Vitos (two in 2008, and one last year). Clive asked Kevin Smith at Superior about the latest available options before he settled on his specifications.

“We added a few new details, but perhaps the most useful is built in sat nav and air conditioning,” said Clive. “Proper sat nav is a great help to a business of our size and scale.

Wakely Vito decking interior Superior UK

“The finish is excellent and the decking is far superior to anything you get anywhere else. People do notice small details like that, even on a removal vehicle. It is a mistake to think that only hearses and limousines matter. A Vito helps us project the image of the business and shows that we are serious about professionalism.”

Kevin Smith of Superior UK said it has been a pleasure to assist Clive with AJ Wakely’s Vitos for nearly a decade.

“Clive’s first vehicle delivery from us was in 2008,” he said. “Each Vito is worked hard and will cover around 100,000+ miles before being replaced. It is great to know that we can help.

“Clive always likes a good level of specification and this recent order was no different. Both Vitos are fully equipped with factory fitted navigation, air-conditioning and parking sensors. The exteriors are beautifully finished in brilliant silver metallic paintwork with colour coded bumpers and alloy wheels. Even the Superior UK ‘Rise&Fall’ decking is finished in heavy duty grey laminate so it blends in perfectly with the paintwork.

“These are truly good looking vehicles which help AJ Wakely promote a professional image. We are delighted to continue supporting AJ Wakely nearly 10 years after their first delivery from us.”

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

A Second Queen II Pilato Hearse For Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors & Family

In 2015, Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors proudly took ownership of a Pilato Queen II hearse. The family firm have just taken delivery of their second Queen II, and Anthony O’Hara told us about adding a new statement vehicle to their head-turning fleet.

“The time had come for us to replace our original Queen I hearse,” explains Anthony O’Hara, who represents the third generation of Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors. “We have been over the moon with the vehicles we have received from Pilato via Superior UK. Our first Queen II hearse has been an outstanding vehicle from the moment we received it at the NFE 2015, and we knew we wanted a second Queen II.”

Nicholas OHara left, Anthony OHara right, Kevin Smith Superior UK middle

Kevin Smith at Superior UK (Pilato SPA ’s official UK distributor) took Nicholas O’Hara over from Dorset to Italy to visit the Pilato SPA factory and workshop. The two men were met by Barbara and Gianvittorio of Pilato, and Nicholas given a full tour of all the potential specification for his new Queen II.

“We have always been made so welcome at Pilato,” explains Anthony, “and this visit was no different. It’s very exciting to see exactly how your vehicle will be built and to be able to choose your specification from such a legendary factory. We had full input into the spec and finish of our new vehicle. Once my father was at Pilato in Italy, he realised we were spoiled for choice!”

Nicholas and I spent a lot of time designing this vehicle,” says Kevin Smith at Superior UK. “Nicholas is very hands on and enjoys discussing every detail of his vehicles. The result is a beautiful hearse, with new one-piece headlining with a blue quilted leather insert, quilted leather side covers and an Almond Oak slide-out decking system. Other items requested by Nick were clear flashing LED lights covertly mounted in the front grille, an MP3 loud speak system and illuminated name plates. It is a stunning looking vehicle inside and out.”

OHara Queen II inside

From visiting Pilato in March, to taking delivery of the vehicle in August, the entire order was fast and smooth, thanks in large part to the close relationship between Superior UK and Pilato SPA.

“Kevin Smith at Superior UK was excellent as always,” Anthony says. “His customer service is second to none and he makes every order very easy indeed – even special and complex ones like a new Queen II!”

The O’Hara family are delighted with their new Queen II hearse, which was delivered in person by Kevin Smith in August.

“It’s a truly top of the range vehicle, with incredible styling,” says Anthony. “We get masses of compliments on it and the families love how special it is. We even have other funeral professionals taking photos of it – nobody has seen anything like it in this country!”

The O’Hara family’s second Pilato Queen II hearse completes an impressive fleet of vehicles for the Dorset funeral directors, who now run two Queen II hearses, two Pilato Imperial XJ limousines (the first Jaguar limousines made outside the UK), and a Mercedes Benz private ambulance, all supplied by Superior UK.

Kevin Smith was proud to help O’Hara with their latest Pilato fleet vehicle. “Superior UK is proud to be the official UK distributor of Pilato SPA’s Jaguar vehicles. As a family business, we always enjoy serving other family run businesses like Nicholas O’Hara. And Pilato has been a family managed company for over 50 years. We get a lot of personal and professional satisfaction out of every handover.”

A Second Queen II Pilato Hearse For Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors & Family is a post from the Superior UK blog. Our main website is here.

Alan Greenwood & Sons Add Third Superior UK Removal Vehicle To Trusty Fleet

Surrey funeral director Alan Greenwood and family serve a large area of the South East, with 26 branches including chapels of rest and masonry. Their fleet of funeral vehicles has to be hard-working and reliable.

Alan already runs two Renault Trafic removal vehicles, the first of which has covered more than 170,000 fault-free miles in its five years of service. When the family decided to add a third removal vehicle to the fleet, they turned to Superior UK.

Alan Greenwood Superior 1

“Superior UK has built and supplied our existing two removal vehicles,” explained Alan, “so we knew they would do a great job on our third. Our vehicles work hard and cover a large area. We have been hugely impressed by the reliability of vehicles from Superior.”

The Renault Trafic is a great choice of removal vehicle. It looks smart and comes with a high level of equipment but at an affordable price. For Alan Greenwood, it ticks all the boxes: sat-nav, air-conditioning, colour coded bumpers, and metallic paint. Superior UK helped design the finish and interior which would suit Alan Greenwood’s needs perfectly, including the fitting of the Superior UK Rise & Fall decking system.

Alan Greenwood Superior 2

“Working with Superior UK is always easy and stress-free,” said Alan. “They make sourcing and buying vehicles very straightforward. All it took was a quick call to Kevin Smith to talk through my specification. He took care of everything else, which enabled me to concentrate on my business.”

“We delivered Alan’s Trafic to his head office ready to work,” said Kevin Smith of Superior UK. “We had already sorted out the registration and paperwork, valeted the vehicle, and filled it with fuel. It was out on the road later that day!”

“Alan Greenwood & Sons Add Third Superior UK Removal Vehicle To Trusty Fleet” is a blog post from the Superior UK blog. Our main website is here.

JF Knight Family Funeral Directors Choose Vito From Superior UK As Their First Vehicle

Jamie Knight has been in the funeral industry for 20 years. But JF Knight Independent Family Funeral Directors is the first business he has owned. So when the time came to purchase a brand new vehicle, he had a lot to think about.

JF Knight Independent Family Funeral Directors in Sheffield has been in business since 2014, and until now has used a Renault Traffic van for removals, and hired in limousines and hearses.

“After two solid years in business, I wanted something more professional than the van for our removal vehicle,” explained Jamie Knight, who owns the business. “We currently hire Mercedes Benz fleet vehicles, so I wanted a Mercedes Benz Vito. I know Superior UK are industry specialists with close links to Mercedes Benz. So I asked Gregg Platt and Kevin Smith for their advice.”
J F Knight Vito
Superior UK were happy to help Jamie source and kit out his brand new Vito, from the perfect paintwork to fit his corporate colours, down to the famous Superior UK decking.
J F Knight Vito Decking

“My new Vito surpasses all my expectations,” said Jamie. “The difference between running a van and running a Vito is amazing. This is definitely not a van, it’s a bespoke private ambulance. It looks so much more professional, and gives the families better memories of a difficult time.”

Jamie recalls one time, not long after he started using his new Vito.

“I took the Vito to collect an elderly gentleman from a care home,” he said. “The grandson was very upset at the loss, and didn’t like the idea of his grandfather being taken away in a van. I invited him to come outside and take a look, if that would help him. When he saw how professional the Vito and its decking looked, he became less upset. I think the Vito looks much more respectful for the families. And I am very happy for them to see it and look inside. It’s a professional vehicle which helps make the process a little easier for families.”

The Mercedes Benz Vito with Superior UK decking has been a cost-effective and solid investment for JK Knight as they begin to upgrade in their third year of business. And it’s paid for itself already, as Jamie explained.

“Along with our own funeral work, I do a lot of repatriation work,” he said,” and the company has been so impressed by the Vito that they have increased the amount of work they send us. The Vito is paying for itself!”
J F Knight Vito Ramp
Kevin Smith of Superior UK oversaw the build of this brand new Vito.

“The Mercedes Benz limousine and hearse that JF Knight hire in are gunmetal grey, to match their modern corporate colours,” he said. “As a young business, JF Knight are keen to promote a company look that’s in keeping with how families view funerals – as a celebration of life rather than the mourning of a death. We sourced a Vito that matches JF Knight’s look perfectly, so Jamie can continue to strengthen his brand.”

Jamie decided to visit Superior UK headquarters near Reading in Berkshire to collect his Vito. “I was collected from the station in a gold limousine which was great fun,” he said.

At Superior UK, he had the chance to see his Vito and be shown around the decking system, plus get a look at some very special Binz vehicles lined up awaiting delivery around the country.

As JF Knight continues to grow, serving Sheffield and Rotherham, their new Vito will prove itself to be a valuable part of the business. And who knows, maybe some of those Binz vehicles will become part of their fleet?

JF Knight Family Funeral Directors Choose Vito From Superior UK As Their First Vehicle is a post from the Superior UK blog. Our main website is here.

Superior UK Hosts FC Douch At Binz Factory in Germany

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It’s not often that you get to see how the vehicles you drive every day are built. But that’s exactly what happened when Jonathan Stretch from FC Douch & Sons (Funerals) Ltd in Dorset was invited to the Binz factory in Stuttgart, Germany.

The trip was part of Superior UK’s planned visit to Binz. Kevin Smith of Superior was travelling to Pilato in Italy and Binz in Germany to discuss customer requirements and get involved in the development of future products.

The Douch Family Funeral Directors have been customers of Superior for more than 10 years. In that time, Kevin has sourced and delivered all their funeral vehicles. With 8 branches across Dorset, Douch Family Funeral Directors run a large fleet of Binz and Mercedes Benz funeral vehicles and personal vehicles.
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As part of this very special customer visit, Jonathan Stretch from Douch Family Funeral Directors received a personal tour of the Binz factory. “It was a wonderful trip,” he said. “From the minute I landed, I had an informative, entertaining and amusing time. Everyone at Binz was welcoming and obviously very proud of everything they are doing at the factory.

“Having purchased many Mercedes Benz vehicles over the past 10 years, I was keen to see the actual build process. When Kevin at Superior said he could help facilitate this, I jumped at the chance! We are long serving customers of Superior and this just demonstrates Kevin’s genuine commitment to customer relationships.”

Jonathan was particularly keen to see the new E Class. “It was fascinating to see how the cars are built from the ground up,” he said. “We are already considering the new E Class as future hearses and limousines. Getting to see the vehicle in the factory gave us a new level of insight into the build quality.”
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During the visit, Kevin and Jonathan also enjoyed visiting the historic Mercedes-Benz museum at Stuttgart.

Kevin was delighted to have a role in hosting Douch Family Funeral Director at Binz. “We have enjoyed working with the Douch family over the past decade and it was a pleasure to host them,” he said. “We really enjoyed Jonathan’s company and appreciate him taking the time out to visit Binz.”

Superior UK Hosts FC Douch At Binz Factory in Germany is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main funeral cars website is here.

The UK’s First Pilato Superstella Lands In Norwich

Allcock Family Funeral Services had a very special delivery in March – the UK’s first Pilato Superstella hearse. We asked brothers Paul and Philip what’s so special about their new hearse.

Pilato Superstella at Superior UK HQ

The Superstella before it left Superior UK’s HQ

When the Allcock family ordered their new hearse, they knew exactly how special the vehicle was. After all, they’d actually seen it built at Pilato’s factory in Italy.

Allcock Family FS’s Pilato Superstella hearse is the first UK example of this stunning hearse. Brothers Paul and Philip Allcock explain why they choose to be trailblazers.

“The original plan was to upgrade to the latest Binz vehicle,” said Philip “But we’d seen the Superstella on Pilato’s website, and spoken to Superior UK about it at the NFE show. We liked what we saw. The question remained, was the UK market ready for it?”

Philip’s brother Paul was the one who pushed the idea forward. “We do things differently!” he said. “Our priority is to offer the best with no compromises. We’ve always been very forward-thinking. I told Philip that I thought the Superstella would make an excellent “front of house” vehicle.”

Allcock’s commitment to progress is evident in their choice of silver vehicles. The sleek, futuristic look of the Superstella was the next step. “We debated the pros and cons of running such a distinctive looking car,” said Paul. “We considered the new Binz hearse, too, but it wasn’t enough of a step forward for us. That highlighted just how different the Superstella actually is. We will never compromise on quality, and knew the Superstella is built on the Mercedes chassis that we’re used to. We decided to take the leap.”

The Allcocks were invited to Pilato in Italy to see the build in action. They were joined there by Kevin Smith and his father Peter, from Superior UK, who are Pilato’s exclusive UK partner.

“Barbara and Gianvittorio showed us the greatest hospitality,” said Philip. “Actually seeing the production line was incredible. Everything is hand-built. We could see the entire process from Binz baseline model, through to preparing the body, the paintshop, and the coachbuilding production line. We were struck by how quiet the production line was. It was like a cathedral!

“We were able to walk round the factory by ourselves, then Barbara and Gianvittorio introduced us to the foreman. We were able to discuss our requirements about the interior, trim, and finish.”

Allcock Pilato deck out

The Superstella’s bespoke deck


Kevin Smith from Superior was pleased that he could be there. “We have been Allcock’s vehicle partner of choice since 2008,” he said. “Paul and Philip are hands-on, and knew exactly want they wanted from their Superstella. After several consultations, we helped arrange a visit to the Pilato factory in Italy.
Allcock Pilato decking at night

A view of the deck lit up at night


“The Allcocks wanted a custom built deck and interior. The interior trim work was installed at Pilato, and we designed and manufactured the slide-out decking system. After our visit to Italy, the craftsmen at Pilato were left to transform the Allcock’s dream into reality.”
When Kevin delivered the Superstella to Allcock’s premises in Norwich, Paul and Philip’s father Terry conducted the handover.
Allcock Pilato with Terry at handover

Terry Allcock with his new car at handover


“The style was even better than we remembered, the deck looked stunning, and the finish was beyond our expectations,” Philip said. “I have to congratulate Pilato and Superior UK for the way they married style and function. They gave us exactly what we wanted, and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

The new hearse has received positive feedback since it took to the road in March. “The good comments reassure us that we made the right decision,” said Paul. “The families love the design, and our team members enjoy driving it.”

Paul Allcock is the current President for The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors, making the Pilato Superstella the preferred Presidential choice!

The UK’s First Pilato Superstella Lands In Norwich is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main funeral cars website is here.