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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.
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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.
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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.

The Latest Mercedes-Benz Vito Joins Heart of England Co-operative’s Fleet

The Heart of England Co-operative runs a large fleet of more than 20 vehicles across thirteen funeral homes across Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. Darryl Smith, Heart of England Co-operative Society’s General Manager of Funerals, explains why he choose to renew with another Mercedes Benz Vito.

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“We have used the Vito as our choice of first-call vehicle for years,” said Darryl, “so when it was time to update the oldest vehicle in the fleet, the latest model of Vito was the obvious choice. The Vito has always been a hard working and high performing fleet vehicle, but the latest model has an upgraded shape and interior which suits our modern, forward-thinking business style.”

The Heart of England Co-operative Society is one of the most successful co-operative businesses in the country, with two new funeral homes opened already this year. The business runs a fleet of more than 20 hearses, limousines, and first-call ambulances. “Superior UK helped us put together an eye-catching fleet of Mercedes Benz hearses and matching limousines in our bespoke colour choice – Tenorite Grey,” explained Darryl, “and it’s important that our Vitos match the ceremonial vehicles as closely as possible. Kevin has been great at helping us customise our Vitos to fit in with our distinctive look.”

Darryl’s first-call Vitos are all finished in Flint Grey dark metallic paintwork, with colour-coded bumpers, alloy wheels and tinted glass. “The Vito looks more like an executive vehicle than a removal vehicle,” said Darryl. “This newest Vito has an improved driving position and automatic gear box, which makes it drive more like a car than a van. It’s had positive responses from our clients, and from our drivers. The bespoke hydraulic Rise & Fall decking designed and installed by Superior makes every transfer safer and easier for my team.”

Superior UK have supplied Heart of England Co-operative Society with more than 10 vehicles in the past four years, and have built a close working relationship with Darryl and his team.

“I can always rely on Superior UK to provide us with the right advice,” said Darryl, “ and then help us choose and customise vehicles when we are ready.”

Darryl discovered one surprising benefit of running Mercedes-Benz Vitos: the resale price. “This new Vito replaces one that was three years old,” he explained. “We got a very good price for it, partly because it’s a Mercedes-Benz but also because it was a Superior UK vehicle. People know that means a quality vehicle that has always been looked after properly. Every vehicle we have had from Superior has been great quality.”

Superior UK are delighted to be the chosen supplier of  Heart of England Co-operative Society. “We are always happy to advise Darryl, and help him choose vehicles which support the vision and values of the business,” said Kevin Smith at Superior UK.

The Latest Mercedes-Benz Vito Joins Heart of England Co-operative’s Fleet is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main funeral cars website is here.

It’s A Superior Surprise For Thomas Grieve & Son

When Anthony Grieve arrived at work on 18th November, he was presented with a huge surprise from his father Bill Grieve: a brand-new Binz hearse and limousine to mark the handover of business from father to son.

WP_20151117_15_16_04_ProUnknown to him, his father Bill had been working away behind the scenes with the help of Kevin Smith at Superior UK to arrange purchase and delivery of two bespoke vehicles. After 28 years running Thomas Grieve & Son, Bill plans to retire next year. What better way to begin the handover than with two shiny new cars, custom-built to the Grieve family’s exact specifications.

The Mercedes hearse and limousine vehicles were manufactured at Binz in Germany and delivered to Thomas Grieve & Son’s West Lothian offices by Superior UK, Binz’s UK partner.

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Like the rest of the firm’s fleet, the two new vehicles are stunning Palladium Grey which demonstrates Grieve’s modern, forward-thinking mindset. “We are in the process of upgrading our entire fleet to matching Palladium Grey Binz Mercedes vehicles,” said Bill Grieve. “As far as we are aware, we are the only funeral directors in the area that use this colour.”

Bill Grieve and his own father, Thomas, started the business in 1987 in Blackburn, West Lothian. The company is still based in Blackburn but has now grown, employing 15 members of staff across four locations, and offering chauffeur hire services. The happy recipient of the vehicles, Anthony Grieve, represents the third generation of this thriving and hard-working funeral firm.

“As soon as I saw the new cars in the yard, I realised what Dad had arranged,” said Anthony. “I was blown away by the surprise. The cars were put to work straight away and have been a huge asset to our fleet. My Dad and I have run the business tougher for the past eight years, and I’ll use the solid work-ethic he’s taught me to take the business forward when he retires.

“My own sons – the fourth generation – will join the business before too long. I hope these cars will still be in our fleet then, so I can in turn pass them down to my sons.”

The new hearse and limousine join Grieve’s existing fleet of two Binz hearses and limousines, and four Mercedes Binz family cars, all in the eye-catching Palladium Silver.

“This was a very special delivery of a hearse and limousine,” says Kevin Smith at Superior UK. “It was all arranged as a top secret gift from Bill Grieves to his son, and we were honoured to be a trusted part of the arrangements. The handover was very special!”

It’s A Superior Surprise For Thomas Grieve & Son is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main funeral cars website is here.

First Formal Hearse Purchase in 20 Years For FH Halliday & Son

When FH Halliday of Portishead decided to add a second hearse to their fleet, they went searching for a vehicle supplier who welcomed single vehicle orders.

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FH Halliday and Son is run on a day-to-day basis by Funeral Director Matthew Aldridge and his wife Tracey, the busy firm serves a large area of Somerset and Bristol from its base in Portishead and second office, Abbey Funeral Services in Worle, Weston-super-Mare.

Matthew Aldridge tells us why it was important to find exactly the right vehicle supplier.

“We already run an bespoke Mercedes Vito hearse, but had been hiring in vehicles to cover demand,” he said. “The time had come to purchase another hearse. We decided a formal hearse would give our clients even greater choice. As this would be our first formal hearse purchase for 20 years I knew I had to find a vehicle supplier who could advise us every step of the way. We searched high and low to find a supplier who shared our excitement for the project.”

Matthew did a lot of industry research but found some carriage masters seemed unenthusiastic about a single vehicle order from a smaller funeral firm.

“That changed when I spoke to Kevin Smith at Superior UK,” he said. “He was excited about our order from the first conversation and no detail was too small for him. He was really good throughout the entire process. I told him exactly what we wanted, and that’s exactly what he found.”

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FH Halliday & Son took delivery of their Binz hearse which came with modern styling, glass roof and lights in the coffin chamber. It joins the firm’s Mercedes V class fleet. “We believe it’s important to offer families choice,” said Matthew. “We recently signed up to the Quakers Fair Funeral Pledge, to give people with lower incomes a simpler funeral option if they choose.”

The business has been in the Halliday family since the 1880s and is owned by Helen and Glyn Lawrence who now live overseas. Glyn flew back for the delivery of the hearse and was delighted to be present at the official handover.

“The new hearse was delivered by Kevin in perfect order with our personal plates, and was out on the road the day after Kevin delivered it,” said Matthew. “It looks great and we’ve had fantastic feedback about it from families. Our V Class following cars compliment it perfectly. We have a beautiful fleet now thanks to Kevin’s help and advice.”

As well as extending their fleet, FH Halliday & Son are developing their existing site to include new Chapels of Rest and Service Rooms to give families the opportunity of having services on site. “We have a solid history behind us,” said Matthew, “but we are always looking to the future.”

“I’m grateful to Kevin Smith and the team at Superior UK for the professional handling of this hearse purchase,” he said. “We love the vehicle and the personal way we were all looked after. I hope we can do more business in the future.

First Formal Hearse Purchase in 20 Years For FH Halliday & Son is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main funeral cars website is here.