William T Fraser & Son First In Highlands To Take Delivery Of PilatoMercedes Polaris 

William T Fraser & Son took delivery of their Polaris Mercedes hearse in July, they became one of the first funeral directors in the UK to run this stunning new design concept from Pilato.

Director Martin Fraser, who represents the third generation of this family business, explains why the Polaris gets a resounding thumbs-up from him and all his team.

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“We wanted to add a new hearse to our existing fleet of a vintage Daimler and E Class Mercedes,” said Martin. “I started looking around and realised most modern hearses are quite unattractive. Why should we have to buy ugly hearses? Superior UK and Pilato offer something very different and exciting. Kevin came all the way from Berkshire to Inverness to talk to us about the Polaris.”

Kevin Smith from Superior UK was delighted to tell Martin and his family about the PilatoMercedes E-Class Polaris hearse, which is still new to the UK. It’s a modern take on traditional hearse design, with sleek lines and distinctive Polaris aesthetics. Large side glasses, a glass tailgate, and LED illumination give an incredible sense of space, with the high-tech specification taking this hearse to a new level.

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“Since that first long-distance visit to talk us through the options, Superior have continued to be a great help,” says Martin. “The ordering process was very smooth and we were able to personalise the specification, interior, and exterior. Greg from Superior was on hand right through to delivery day. I couldn’t be happier with the build quality, fit, and finish. It’s an absolutely stunning vehicle.”

Martin isn’t the only one who thinks the Polaris is the most eye-catching hearse around. Luckily, his whole team agree.

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“I did a blind test of all the hearses on the market,” Martin says. “I showed every member of staff a photo of all the cars we could have chosen, making sure to remove the vehicle names first. They all picked the Polaris, without knowing it was the car I was considering.”

Martin likes to keep ahead of the game, and he has the first Obsidian black Polaris in Scotland. It has already become the show stopper of the William T Fraser fleet.

William T Fraser Fleet

“People are coming up especially to see it,” says Martin, “and it’s received incredible feedback from families. The Polaris is one way of showing our dedication to bringing the best possible service to families.

“We are over the moon with the vehicle, and with the service from Superior UK. We are very proud to be one of the first funeral directors in the UK to take ownership of a Pilato hearse.”

William T Fraser & Son First In Highlands To Take Delivery Of PilatoMercedes Polaris is a blog post from Superior UK – the main Superior UK website is here.

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High-Spec Vito On Display At NFE Finds New Home With Alan Greenwood & Sons 

An independent funeral director business with 31 funeral homes and chapels of rest needs a large fleet. But when Alan Greenwood attended this year’s NFE, he didn’t plan to leave with a new vehicle. He tells us why this new Vito caught his eye.

Greenwood new Vito

“We’re one of the largest true independents remaining in the UK,” says Alan, who runs Alan Greenwood & Sons. “We currently have more than 25 funeral homes across Surrey and South London, as you can imagine this means the business is always expanding and adapting. One of our greatest needs is having enough good quality, reliable fleet vehicles.”

Alan has come to Superior UK for ceremonial vehicles and private ambulances for over 15 years, and some of his first Superior vehicles are still in service.

“I’ve always done business with Kevin at Superior because his vehicles have always been great quality, and he looks after us very well,” says Alan. “We’ve had new vehicles from him, and he’s done repair and service work for us too. He’s a good man to deal with, and in this business that means a lot.”

Alan Greenwood with Kevin Smith Vito handover

Superior UK always have a large stand at the NFE, and this year was no different. Alan attended the show keen to see Superior’s vehicles, but had no intention of actually buying anything. But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

“I may have had a G&T!” jokes Alan. “I wasn’t expecting to buy a vehicle at the NFE, but when the best in the business are there and you can physically look around the cars, it makes sense. I spotted the new Vito on Superior’s stand and knew it would be our next removal vehicle. It is a very high-spec vehicle, beautifully kitted out, and can double up as a hearse – which makes it even more of an attractive prospect.”

Alan’s new Mercedes Vito removal vehicle has a high level of specification, complete with air-conditioning, a reversing camera, and automatic transmission.”

Alan Greenwood with new Vito

“It’s everything you could need in a removal vehicle, and more,” explains Kevin Smith from Superior UK. “The specification is designed to accommodate the specific needs of a funeral director, making it a truly multi-purpose vehicle.

“The attention to detail and quality of finish, combined with its MPV-like appearance, means it is real for nursing homes and residential removals, replacing the need to operate both a removal van and an estate car or people carrier.

“Our Vito is ideal as a hearse for the morbidly obese or for low-cost funerals. We have also supplied our Vitos for repatriation use. It really is a great reliable all-rounder.”

Alan Greenwood & Sons took delivery of their new Vito in July and immediately put the vehicle to work across a busy region.

“We have chosen to go to Superior UK for our vehicles since buying our first limousine from Kevin in 2004,” says Alan. “We enjoy a friendly relationship and I know Kevin is only ever a phone call away. This latest vehicle is another example of the quality vehicles and great service we have always had. That’s why I stay with Superior.”

High-Spec Vito On Display At NFE Finds New Home With Alan Greenwood & Sons is a blog post from Superior UK Automotive – their main website is here – Superior UK website.

Edwin Pounds Choose Pilato For Brand-New Mercedes E-Class Hearse



Edwin Pounds and Sons of Bradford have become one of the first funeral directors in the UK to add a Polaris hearse to their fleet, taking delivery of the Pilato-Mercedes from Superior UK. Simon Broome, Company Director, explains the decision to switch to Pilato.

“We have already had three full fleets from Superior UK,” he says, “so when they became official partners of Pilato we kept an eye on the vehicles. We knew the partnership with Pilato was sure to produce something out of the ordinary.’

When it came time to change his existing hearse for a new vehicle, Simon came to Superior to enquire about Pilato’s hearses.

Edwin Pounds and Sons was established in 1904 by Simon’s maternal great-grandfather, who added funeral work to the business in 1940.

“We have worked with Simon and his family for nearly 15 years, and we know how much pride they take in running a beautiful fleet,” says Kevin Smith of Superior UK. “I was excited to tell Simon about the two Pilato hearses – the Mercedes E-Class Polaris and the Jaguar GrandAurora – and even more excited to actually show him the vehicles.”

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Superior UK arranged for Simon to visit the Pilato factory in Italy.

“It’s very rare to get the opportunity to see potential new vehicles in the build stage,” says Simon. “The Pilato family were so welcoming – it’s obvious they take great pride in what they are doing over in Italy.”

Simon made the decision to purchase a new Pilato Mercedes E-Class Polaris hearse, and Superior UK helped him settle on the ideal spec and finish. They even managed to fit in a second trip out to the Pilato factory – this time to see Simon’s own vehicle being built.

“It can sometimes feel like a long time to wait from ordering to delivery, so this extra bit of customer service fills that gap and adds a great deal of trust and confidence,” he says. “It was great to see our hearse in build – we were able to spec it up whilst we were out there. It’s a great way to feel involved with the process.”

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Kevin Smith explains the special partnership between Pilato and Superior UK.

“Both Superior and Pilato are relatively small, family-run businesses,” he says. “We really understand the funeral industry, and know how much value our customers place in their ceremonial vehicles. Funeral cars are not like other cars. They are a hugely important part of a funeral director’s business. That’s why we take our customers out to the Pilato factory so they can see the design and build process. Pilato go the extra mile to make their vehicles special, and we extend that care to our own customers. Our partnership lets funeral directors feel very involved in their vehicle investments. Which is as it should be!”

Edwin Pounds and Sons have now taken delivery of their new Polaris hearse – and of a brand-new VW Transporter 4MOTION removal vehicle which was also ordered from Superior UK.

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“When we saw Superior were doing the VW Transporter in 4-wheel drive, we knew it was the right choice for us,” said Simon. “We struggle here in Bradford during harsh winters. Our new vehicle hasn’t met any snow yet of course, but it’s already a far smoother and more powerful drive than our previous removal vehicle.

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As for the Polaris, it has surpassed our expectations,” he said. “It’s stunning, unusual, and a real touch of class. Great service as always from Superior UK, this time with the addition of everyone at Pilato in Italy.”

For more information about Pilato vehicles or the Superior UK/Pilato partnership, see https://www.superioruk.com/

W S Ingham & Son Turns Heads Making Switch To Jaguar For New Fleet

W S Ingham & Son independent funeral firm had run Ford vehicles for over 10 years. From the moment they saw Superior UK’s Pilato demonstrator, the decision was made – the next new ceremonial vehicles would be Pilato Jaguar. Tony Ingham explains why his new cars have the wow factor.

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“We’ve made a lot of changes to our premises over the past 6 years,” Tony says, “including two extensions and new garages. We take pride in being a modern, forward-thinking business. It was about time our fleet reflected those values and showed the local community how we like to take care of them.”

Tony, who runs W S Ingham & Son with his mother Pat, had been running a fleet of Ford vehicles, but when looking to change they were not wowed by the new models. Tony felt they just lacked that ‘certain something’.

“We actually tried out the new model of our existing fleet cars,” he explains, “ and they were just OK, certainly not special enough for how we like to do things. I knew that Superior work with Pilato Jaguar, so I got in touch. They were quick to respond, and brought the demonstrator for a visit.”

As soon as Tony saw the XF GrandAurora hearse, he realised how different it is to anything else on the market.

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“It was clear from first glance that Pilato have thought about Funeral Directors and designed something that really works for us,” he says. “Greg from Superior talked about all the extras and personal touches we could have – and the decision was made. Once I’d seen the GrandAurora, I couldn’t imagine us with anything else.”

The GrandAurora certainly has the wow-factor, but Tony wanted a whole new fleet. Alongside his new hearse, he also required two limousines, and we were able to help him personalise his new XJ limousines with plenty of special touches.

Ingham signing car at Pilato factory

“We’ve never had a Jaguar fleet before,” says Tony, “but this entire process was so smooth and easy. By far the most exciting part for me was our visit to the Pilato factory in Italy. What a wonderful experience! It’s amazing to see your vehicles being made. The factory is remarkable, and the Pilato family can’t do enough for you. It’s thanks to Superior that we were able to have that experience.”

At the Pilato factory, Tony and his fiancee Debbie gave their cars the ultimate personalised touch: a signature on the interior whilst the vehicles were in build.

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Debbie Walls and Tony Ingham (far left and right) with Gianvittorio Stella and Barbara Pilato at the Pilato factory in Italy

“This is the third new fleet I’ve bought, and I’ve never been asked to put my signature inside my cars before now,” says Tony. “Debbie found it so overwhelming, she burst into tears.”

A New Fleet That Turns Heads In Brand Colours

The Ingham family were able to customise their hearse and limousines with the features, spec, and finish they wanted – down to every last detail.

“We like to be different,” says Tony. “So it is great to have ceremonial cars that match our company colours and help us stand out.”

When the vehicles were ready, Superior had them delivered by covered transporter for the official handover at W S Ingham & Son’s impressive Mansfield premises.

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“Driving the new cars onto our premises on the day was an amazing experience,” says Tony. “The entire team came out to welcome the cars. Since then, they’ve been out on the road and the response has always been “WOW!” They have been an absolute dream to drive. And the service we’ve received from Superior is second to none.”

Kevin Smith from Superior UK says what a pleasure it was to help W S Ingham & Son with their Pilato Jaguar fleet.

“Tony was very clear in what he wanted from his cars,” he says, “it was refreshing to work with a Funeral Director who is so hands-on. Taking Tony and Debbie out to Pilato in Italy was a great experience and I enjoyed showing them the lengths Pilato go to in making dreams a reality. It has been great to demonstrate what the Superior/Pilato partnership is capable of. These three cars are absolutely beautiful!”

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W S Ingham & Son was set up in 1927 by Tony’s grandfather. Tony explains why luxury ceremonial vehicles are an integral part of a modern Funeral Director business.

“Giving our families the best possible service is the most important thing to us,” he says, “and these vehicles are a massive investment for our company. Having cars like these shows our commitment to families and to our local community. We care about every detail of the service we offer.”

Discover more about Superior UK’s official partnership with Pilato here.

A E Stoodley’s Queen II Pilato takes centre stage



When A E Stoodley & Son hosted a gala event to launch their Community Fund, the firm’s new Queen II Pilato hearse had a starring role. Tracey Warren of A E Stoodley & Son tells us what’s so special about her new Pilato.
Tracey Warren of Stoodley with Queen II at Community Fund launch

“I’ve been at A E Stoodley & Son for 18 years, but I took over fully in 2017,” says Tracey. “We are a very progressive, forward-thinking funeral director, and my goal was to bring our brand in line with our values. One of the first things I did was replace our existing vehicle.”

A E Stoodley & Son were running a Mercedes E320 Pollmann build which was about 20 years old – a true workhorse of a car but no longer in line with her vision. Tracey wanted something new, unique, stylish and modern for the business in 2018.

Love At First Sight

The Pilato Queen II was the first vehicle she saw at the National Funeral Exhibition last year. Even though she took a good look around, she couldn’t help coming back to it.

“I assumed we’d get another Mercedes,” she says, “we’ve always had a Mercedes fleet. The second I saw the ‘Queen II’ on Superior UK’s stand, I knew I wanted it. I spent a lot of time looking around, but there was nothing else that came close for me!

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“I had a strong vision of how I wanted our vehicle to look, and the scope of the Queen II allowed me to look beyond the demonstrator. I knew we could create something really special for A E Stoodley & Son.”

Kevin and Peter Smith of Superior UK spoke to Tracey at the NFE and help her to make her vision a reality. She knew exactly what she wanted, and Superior UK were able to advise her with their extensive knowledge and experience of Pilato vehicles. They even facilitated a visit to the Pilato factory in Nervesa della Battaglia, Italy, so Tracey could see her Queen II progressing through the build process.

Watching The Build At The Pilato Factory

In February (6 months after placing the order), Tracey went over to Pilato with Peter, Kevin, and Jon of Superior UK.

“The entire trip was memorable,” she says. “I had a wonderful tour around the factory and saw our Queen II in her grey shell as she started to take shape. It was amazing to see what Pilato do and watch the build in action.”

Tracey was even able to add some very special personalised touches to the car during the build phase.

Stoodley's Queen II coffin chamber

The Most Personalised Details

“I signed the vehicle inside the back wing, and had our logo etched into one of the windows. It was great to have that level of detail available to us. It made me even more excited to take delivery of the finished vehicle.”

Superior UK kept in touch with Tracey throughout the process, and then delivered the car to her by specialist transporter in June 2018.

“I don’t mind admitting that I cried when I saw it,” says Tracey. “It is absolutely stunning, beyond anything I could have comprehended. It is everything I’d hoped for – and the rest!”

Soon after delivery, the Queen II was put centre stage at a special event hosted by A E Stoodley & Son – the launch of their Community Fund. The funeral firm have always been community focused, they are at the heart of the town, for the local people.

Centre Stage At Community Fund Launch

In their 95th year of trading in the town, Tracey launched the Stoodley & Son Community Fund. This initiative is the latest in the firm’s community focused activities. Tracey presented the first award on the evening to The Teresa Braley Memorial Garden. A E Stoodley & Son also run a free Bereavement Support Group (which has supported 120 families over 5 years) and hosts a number of charity events throughout the year.

“People want a funeral director they can feel comfortable with,” says Tracey, “our community work makes us more noticeable and approachable. It was great to be able to welcome so many local people to the launch event. We were only expecting 40 people, and we had over 120! The Queen II was a stunning centrepiece and a real talking point.”

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Since the community fund launch evening, the Queen II has been out and about in the local area – working hard and turning heads.

“We get plenty of looks,” says Tracey. “People even cross the road to look at the car and talk to us about it!”

Stoodley's Queen II detail

A E Stoodley & Son’s new Queen II Pilato has helped bring Tracey’s vision for the business to life. Superior UK were delighted to play a part in the journey.

“A E Stoodley’s Queen II Pilato takes centre stage

” is a blog post from Superior UK. The main Superior UK 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.

New Dawn As Pilato’s Latest Jaguar XF Hearse Comes To The UK

As Pilato announce their stunning new GrandAurora Jaguar XF hearse, we take a look at when this vehicle might light up the UK market.

Pilato Jaguar GrandAuroraSpring 2016 has brought us a new vehicle, developed out of the exciting partnership between classic British brand Jaguar and the Italian workmanship of Pilato.

The car has been years in development – both Jaguar and Pilato are known for taking their time over the details which matter – but we can finally reveal the new GrandAurora hearse.

When can the UK market get access to this Jaguar/Pilato hearse?

“This is a really exciting vehicle,” said Kevin Smith here at Superior UK, “and we are working closely with our colleagues at Pilato in Italy to bring it to customers in the UK. We’re confident funeral directors are going to love it: it combines the stunning looks, detail, and finish you would expect from a Pilato/Jaguar partnership, taken to the next level. It has real wow factor.

“The GrandAurora is based on the sophisticated lightweight Jaguar chassis, and the rear section has been designed in response to a great deal of style and design analysis.

“Pilato fans will probably recognise this car’s tailgate design – it’s based on the Queen II’s iconic all-glass tailgate but we think it’s even better. The access area is bigger (by more than 10%), the loading threshold has been reduced, and there’s a new opening system, too.”

Kevin hopes it won’t be too long until the car is available to the British funeral trade.

We will keep you updated!

“This car is a perfect blend of Pilato design and Jaguar engineering,” he said, “so in a sense it is 50% British. We are working with the team at Pilato to make it available to British funeral directors as soon as possible. It won’t be long before they can add this car to their fleet, or at least get a glimpse of it at an industry trade show.”

New Dawn As Pilato’s Latest Jaguar XF Hearse Comes To The UK is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main funeral cars website is here.