First UK Polaris Hearse Is Hand-Signed During Build By Southern Co-op

When Southern Co-op made the decision to order a brand-new Polaris hearse, the team already knew it was a first for the UK funeral industry. What co-operative funeral colleagues didn’t know is quite how unique the process would become – from flying out to the Pilato factory to see their car in build, to signing the inside of the vehicle and installing a personalised plaque inside the bonnet. 

Southern Co-op Polaris Delivery Jarrod Turner Kevin Smith Matt Turner

Southern Co-op is a regional, independent co-operative with more than 50 funeral branches across the south of England. Matt Turner from Southern Co-op told us about the process of becoming a Polaris owner.

“Some of our existing fleet were coming to the end of their life cycle with us,” he said, “and we were looking at the various options available in the market. We operate across a large and busy region, and our vehicles need to be reliable. But we also like our ceremonial vehicles to look the part – stylish and different, without losing any of the tradition and etiquette.”

Wow-Factor Hearse With Design Style

“We really needed a high end hearse that would wow our clients, and be in keeping with the high end service we are known for. Once I saw the Polaris, I knew it was exactly what we wanted. The latest Mercedes, with the design style of Pilato, created the perfect match for our company.”

Southern Co-op Polaris 01

After contacting Superior UK (official partners and distributors of Pilato to the UK), Matt felt even more certain that the Polaris was the right decision.

“We were captivated by the Pilato Polaris. It has such a modern and stunning design that we knew we wanted it as an eye-catching part of our fleet.”

Kevin Smith from Superior UK visited Southern Co-op to talk to Matt and his colleague Claire McGinty about the Polaris hearse, helping Matt and Claire design their perfect spec and finish.

“We have a very close working relationship with Pilato,” explained Kevin. “I visit the Pilato factory several times a year, and I know these cars inside out. That level of knowledge means I can help our customers make decisions almost as if their vehicle was in front of us.”

Before long, the vehicle would in fact be in front of them, when Matt and Claire received a surprise invitation to see their Polaris being built at the Pilato factory in Italy.

Co-op and Superior at Pilato factory

Seeing Their Vehicle During The Build Process

“We have never had the opportunity to see one of our hearses mid production,” said Matt, “so we jumped at the opportunity to head out to the factory. Being able to see the hearse – plus others that were further down the line – helped us visualise the end result far better than a picture ever could. We spent time talking with the Pilato team working on our hearse to explain our vision. It was an amazing experience.”

Matt and Claire were even able to personalise some of the design, as Kevin from Superior UK explained.

“During their visit to the Pilato factory, Claire and Matt secretly signed the inside of the hearse during the build process,” he said, “and we installed a little plaque under the bonnet dedicating the vehicle to its new owner.” 

Matt Turner Claire McGinty Southern Co-op signing car at Pilato factory

Adding A Personal Touch

“It was so nice to be able to add a personal touch to the hearse by writing a little message inside,” said Matt. “We knew our team would find and read it when we took delivery – a really special touch.”

The finished vehicle was finished in Mercedes Tenorite grey metallic. The interior has lots of LED lighting, grey laminate decking, a black leather interior trim and white quilted stitching. Pilato installed some custom perspex window trims which allow for the discrete display of illuminated name plates. 

Southern Co-op Polaris 02

Southern Co-op was the first to order a Polaris hearse, and the first to take delivery in the South of England.

“It’s great to get our hands on this amazing car,” said Matt. “It is everything that we had hoped it would be. Working with Superior and Pilato has been great. We really value the close relationship we have built up with Superior over the years, and look forward to continuing this for many years to come.”

Southern Co-op is a regional, independent co-operative owned by its 140,000+ members. As well as food and funeral branches, it also runs two crematoria and a natural burial ground which reaffirm the co-operative’s sustainable business approach and commitment to providing a fair, fresh approach for all.

First UK Polaris Hearse Is Hand-Signed During Build By Southern Co-op is a blog from Superior UK. The main Superior UK website is here.

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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.

Fraser2

“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.

Fraser5

“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.

Fraser3

“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.

Custom Removal Vehicle Is The Perfect Fit For Tomalin & Son

Every vehicle in your fleet should fit your business needs and budget. There’s no sense in running a vehicle that’s too large for your logistics. When Tomalin & Son independent funeral directors wanted a new removal vehicle, they needed a smart but small solution which could navigate the narrow roads of their local area. Superior UK helped them find the ideal solution.

 

Tomalin Proace by Superior UK

Tomalin & Son’s stylish new Proace

Tomalin & Son’s previous removal vehicle was a a Mercedes-Benz Vito supplied by Superior UK. After several years, it was time for an upgrade. Manager Kris Philips worked with Jon Helm, Superior UK’s Southern Salesman, to find a suitable vehicle that could be custom fitted with an appropriate deck system.

Kris was given free rein to research and source the ideal vehicle. After an in-depth search, he came up with the new Toyota Proace van. Superior UK had supplied Tomalin’s previous removal vehicle, and Kris knew they had the experience and expertise to help kit out the new Proace.

“Kris contacted us to discuss an upgrade to their existing Vito,” says Jon. “We showed him the latest Vitos, but soon realised this vehicle is too large for the type of driving Tomalin do. Vehicles seem to be getting bigger, but rural roads are not!”

The Toyota Proace was an excellent alternative to the Mercedes-Benz Vito. It’s a new vehicle to the market and has a smart, dignified look (almost like a mini Vito). The size of the Proace is ideal for the type of deck Tomalin need. After some efficient consultations, Superior UK got the ball rolling.

Tomalin Proace side

Side access to the new decking system

A Smaller Vehicle For Rural Driving

Kris ordered a new van from Toyota, who delivered it directly to Superior UK. As soon as it landed, the team at Superior UK started on the deck build. The Proace was transformed from empty van to a purpose-built removal vehicle in a matter of weeks.

“Many of our removal vehicles have our Rise&Fall decking system, but Tomalin had no need for it,” explains Jon. “There’s no point commissioning a vehicle which is excessive to your needs. So we designed a single fixed deck which fitted the way Tomalin work. Henley-on-Thames is an old town with a narrow bridge and small roads. The Toyota van is an attractive prospect when space is tight. It has the scope to include plenty of useful details in a custom fit.”

Superior UK always work with the customer to ensure their vehicle suits how they plan to use it. Jon took time to listened to Tomalin’s needs and understand which items they carry on a day to day basis.

Tomalin Proace deck.jpg

Ample Storage And Easy Access

“We made sure all of the items fit into the draw mechanisms of custom deck,” he explains. “There’s a large under-deck storage compartment draw at the rear which also forms the ramp, and another a draw accessed either side by a sliding door. This set up gives Tomalin ample storage for everyday essential items, including their first call stretcher. And it looks beautiful, too, fully lined out in burr walnut.”

Kris is delighted with his custom fit Toyota Proace. The new removal vehicle was his project, and he couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. Tomalin now have a new removal vehicle which looks smart, dignified, and professional. It handles the narrow roads of Henley-on-Thames and will be an asset to the business as the weather turns cold and icy. Inside the vehicle is neat and tidy, helping Tomalin’s team carry out their duties efficiently and smoothly.

Custom Fit In A Matter Of Weeks

“Kris likes our deck system, and we are delighted to have found him a cost effective solution that fits his needs,” says Jon. “The entire process ran smoothly – he gave us the vehicle, went on holiday, and it was all done to his specifications by the time he returned to work.”

Tomalin & Son is a locally owned independent family company which has been in the Jones family for over 60 years. They are situated in the heart of Henley-on-Thames. Superior UK are just down the road in Reading, but serve customers all over the UK and are present to oversee every vehicle delivery and handover.

This is a blog post from Superior UK Automotive – the Superior UK new and used car website is here.

Adam Collier Funeral Services’s Decked-Out Removal Vehicle Turns Heads

Adam Collier Funeral Services was started by Adam Collier in 2012, and has rapidly grown to cover a large rural area of North Yorkshire from two offices. After 6 years of business (and a significant amount of mileage!), the firm’s removal vehicle needed an upgrade.

Adam Collier receiving his removal vehicleWhen Adam decided to replace his old removal vehicle, he talked to Superior UK about the possibilities of a purpose-built custom vehicle. The result of those discussions was this professional looking, hard-working custom Ford Transit: the perfect combination of reliable workhorse and professional brand representative.

“Our first removal vehicle was purchased from a garage,” says Adam. “It has served us well, but was never our ideal choice of removal vehicle. It was an early purchase which has seen us through the first few years of the business. But after 6 years, I knew we needed to upgrade.”

Adam’s business covers a vast area of mostly rural postcodes, including a large swath of the North Yorks moors. Every trip to the Crematorium involves at least an hour’s driving, and some trips can mean going to York and Scarborough hospitals to retrieve 3-4 bodies.

Adam knew he needed a serious removal vehicle that could withstand some serious milage, but look great and show off the highly professional and caring image of the business.

“I knew Superior UK provides new hearses and limousines,” he says, “so I got in touch with them to see about a new removal vehicle. I hadn’t appreciated quite how many options are possible when you go for a custom build!”

Adam Collier Transit DeckingAdam started the business by himself, and he now has 2 offices, 4 full-time members of staff, and does around 150 funerals a year. His vehicles need to reflect the professional, modern values of this independent funeral firm. Superior UK’s Northern representative, Greg Platt, visited Adam to discuss the scope of a new removal vehicle.

“I knew what kind of vehicle I wanted,” says Adam. “Greg showed us the different types of decking we could have and talked through all the specs. We opted for the grey decking on the bottom, with the wooden decking to come down when we visit private residences. We cover such a large area that we need purpose built decking. It means we can bring everyone back into our care without needing 2 vehicles or multiple trips. The final result is a spacious and adaptable vehicle which looks much more professional than our previous removal vehicle.”

Adam Collier Transit Custom Graphic SideKevin Smith of Superior UK was delighted to help Adam with his first purchase from Superior.

“The vehicle was built to order,” he explains. “Our Northern representative Greg worked with Adam, advising all the finer details ensuring everything was to Adam’s exact requirements. We are proud of the finished product, and happy to hear it is doing such a good job for Adam.”

Left Greg Platt Superior, Right Adam CollierAdam’s new removal vehicle looks so good that it has garnered praise from employees and families.

“We are even using it on a funeral soon,” he says. “The family didn’t want a hearse, and when we picked up using the Ford Transit, the wife noticed how smart it is inside, and asked if we can use it for the funeral.”

Any removal vehicle needs to be hard-working and reliable, but when you cover such a large rural area these qualities come to the fore.

“This is our workhorse vehicle,” explains Adam. “It needs to look good, perform well, and withstand the miles – because we rack them up very quickly! It’s great that we could commission something a bit special even thought this isn’t a hearse or a limo.”

As Adam discovered, removal vehicles can be as well thought out as any other fleet vehicle, helping promote the values of your business and strengthening your brand in the local area.

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

New Vito Private Ambulance Brings Fleet In Line For M Garton & Son

When Malcolm Garton of M Garton & Son in Hull decided to upgrade his private ambulance, he knew it was time to invest in a vehicle that matched the rest of his smart Mercedes fleet. He had been to Superior UK in the past, so knew exactly who to ask for his next Mercedes.

“We have Mercedes limousines, so we really wanted a Mercedes removal vehicle to complete the fleet,” explained Malcolm. “We had been running a Vauxhall Vivaro but, even though it wasn’t very old, it was giving us no end of problems. In fact it ended up off the road for a while, which was far from ideal. We needed a new vehicle which would perform as good as it looks.”

Malcolm and his wife Barbara are co-directors of the family firm, which was founded in 1888 by Mark Garton – Malcolm’s great-Grandfather. The business has five offices across East Yorkshire, serving a wide area which runs along the north of the Humber: from South Cave across to Hedon, taking in the city of Hull.

M Garton & Son’s new private ambulance needed to be modern, dignified, and discreet to stay in keeping with the firm’s reputation and image. Superior UK’s Northern sales associate, Greg Platt, helped Malcolm put together the perfect specification.
Malcolm Garton with Greg Platt (Superior UK Northern Sales)
“We knew we wanted the Mercedes Vito, and wouldn’t need the full Superior ‘Rise&Fall’ decking system,” said Malcolm. “So we asked Superior UK to build a lower fixed type decking system finished in a hearse type wood laminate,” said Malcolm. “Greg helped us with the deck, interior, paintwork, finish, and choice of trimmings.”
Greg Platt Superior UK Northern Sales with Malcolm Garton
M Garton & Son’s finished Vito is a very smart, modern-looking removal vehicle that fits in perfectly with the rest of the fleet.

The Vito has a walnut interior, and is finished in flint grey metallic paintwork with colour coded bumpers and all-round glazing ensure for a discreet removal. The new Vito doesn’t just look great – it’s a pleasure to drive, too, with driver aids including air-conditioning, parking sensors and reversing camera.

“Superior UK made the entire process really easy,” said Malcolm. “We knew from our previous dealings with them that we would be treated very fairly, with great customer service and after care should we ever need it. The Vito is a great addition to our fleet and a vast improvement on our previous private ambulance. Everyone here enjoys driving it, and the families appreciate the dignified and professional look of the vehicle.”

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

Hywel Griffiths Funeral Directors’s First Mercedes-Benz Vehicle Exceeds Expectations

Hywel Griffiths Delivery Vito 2

When Keith and Peter Griffiths decided to invest in a new removal vehicle, they knew they did not want anything resembling a van. After detailed talks with Superior UK Automotive, they took ownership of a stunning new Mercedes-Benz Vito which looks so good that it can operate as a multi-purpose vehicle. Keith Griffiths talks us through his high-spec Vito.

Griffiths Vito

“It was very important to us that our new vehicle didn’t look like a van,” said Keith, who represents the 4th generation of the Griffiths family. “Although the vehicle would primarily be used as a removal vehicle, we wanted something that looked good enough to be a hearse if needed.”

The company’s existing fleet vehicles are Ford Mk11s, but they had always been an admirer of Mercedes-Benz design. So Keith contacted Superior UK Automotive.

“It was the first time we had worked with the Griffiths family,” said Kevin Smith from Superior UK, “and it was a real pleasure to hear about their vision for a multi-purpose removal type vehicle. Keith wanted the appearance of a passenger vehicle, with the practicalities of a van. I was excited to introduce him to the idea of a Vito, as I knew it could surpass his expectations.”

After some weeks of talks, a detailed specification was agreed.

Griffiths Vito Decking

“We have never liked the idea of a van that states it is a Private Ambulance,” said Keith. “Kevin understood exactly what we meant, and was very helpful. The finished vehicle is spectacular, we are very impressed.”

Hywel Griffiths’s Vito has a top quality exterior design, finished with a high-quality interior, making it ideal for home and hospital collections.

“I admit that I was always wary of this kind of vehicle, but our experience with Superior UK has completely changed my view,” said Keith. “Our Vito is so beautiful inside that it could pass as a hearse. We chose a burr walnut finish interior floor to ceiling, plus roof rails, chrome fittings on the sills, side steps, and alloy wheels. The high quality fittings and accessories to the interior really compliment the Mercedes-Benz exterior design.”

Brothers Peter and Keith, together with their children Rhodri, Lowri, Rhys and Euros are a tight-knit family business that was started in 1875. As 4th generation of this family firm, Keith prefers to deal with small companies. Superior UK Automotive are also a family business, with Kevin working alongside his father Peter. 

Hywel Griffiths Delivery Vito

“I immediately felt that Kevin understood the dynamic of a family business,” said Keith. “The communication and customer service was outstanding. We were always able to deal directly with him, and never had to wait for an answer.”

Hywel Griffiths Funeral Directors are a privately owned business based in Betws, near Ammanford in West Wales, and offers funeral services and monumental masonry with a bilingual service.

“My great-grandfather started this firm in 1875 and we are proud to see how it has grown,” said Keith. “My own Dad did 70 funerals a year, but we do around 400 now. Our fleet vehicles are an important part of our branding and the service levels we give. Superior UK are a great partner for us.”

Hywel Griffiths Funeral Directors’s First Mercedes-Benz Vehicle Exceeds Expectations is a post from the Superior UK blog. The main Superior UK website is here.

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.