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

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

Stibbard 002

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

Stibbard 003

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

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

Stibbard 001

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

Stibbard 004

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

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

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

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

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

001 Ingham Vito exterior

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

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

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

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

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

002 Ingham Vito deck

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

003 Ingham Vito deck

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

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

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

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

Vito Tourer G Seller (2)

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

 

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

 

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

Vito Touer 003

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

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

Second Vito Makes Matching Pair for F Cobbett & Sons

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

Cobbett new Vito

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

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

Cobbett Vito side

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

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

Cobbett Vito rear interior

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

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

Cobbett VIto side interior

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

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

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

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

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

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

01 Scollen Delivery 01

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

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

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

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

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

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

01 Scollen Delivery 03

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

01 Scollen Delivery 02

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

J G Fielder 02

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

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

J G Fielder 03

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

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

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

J G Fielder 04

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

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

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

J G Fielder 01

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five Decades in The Specialist Vehicle Trade: Happy Retirement to Peter Smith

Peter Smith is familiar to all of you who know Superior UK. Head of the family – and of the business – he is about to head into retirement. We take a look back at an astounding career in coachbuilding, specialist vehicles, and the funeral fleet industry.

The 1970s

The specialist coachbuilding world of the 1970s and 80s was an exciting time, and Peter was right in the thick of it. He recalls building exotic vehicles for Middle East customers – mainly 6-wheeled Range Rovers and convertible 2-door Range Rovers – as well as bespoke vehicles for the rich and famous.

Even back then, Peter would occasionally be asked to build a hearse or limousine, but it would be some years before they would form a significant part of his business.

6 wheeled Range Rover

Convertible Range Rover

The start for Nilsson UK at Aldermaston 1989

6 wheeled Range Rover

The 1980s

Cast your mind back to the mid-80s to a time when interest in classic English cars was on the rise. Peter began restoring and supplying some beautiful classic cars, including Jaguar E-types and XKs, Rolls Royce cars, and other marques.

Restored Jaguar E Type

Restored Jaguar E Type

Into the Funeral Vehicle Market

In the late 1980s, Peter formed a working relationship which would see him move into the funeral vehicle world – an industry he never left.

An opportunity arose to work alongside specialist coachbuilder Yngve Nilsson Karosserifabrik, who were in charge of Volvo special vehicles for Volvo Cars. Peter quickly formed a great working relationship with the Nilsson family and moved fully into the specialist market of funeral vehicles.

03 NUK YNKAB S80 Hrse

Volvo S80 hearse project

Nilsson UK & Specialist Funeral Vehicles

Did you know that Peter formed Nilsson Karosserifabrik UK Ltd (Nilsson UK)? He introduced the Volvo-based hearse and limousine to UK funeral directors, and with this came full manufacturer-approved specialist vehicles with steel body construction and one-piece steel roofs.

Over time, the Volvo funeral vehicles evolved and became one of the strongest and most trusted brands on the market. The vehicles were renowned for build quality – in fact many of these vehicles are still in service long after they should have retired!

Binz Mercedes (211) Limousine

The start for Nilsson UK at Aldermaston 1989

Innovations in Funeral Vehicle Design

Nilsson and Nilsson UK were forward-thinking companies. Peter was instrumental in the design and production of 5-door hearses, 4 and 6-door limousines, and 5-seater hearses as standard, as well as the development of the first Rise&Fall decking systems.

Volvo S80 hearse project

Nilsson Sweden showing Vauxhall Omega limousines

The 2000s

As the Millennium approached, it was clear that the world was becoming a very different place and customer expectations were changing. Peter knew the products he offered needed to adapt and continue to lead the way in a new millennium. Onto the next chapter…

The Binz Years 

Earlier in his career, Peter had crossed paths with world-renowned Germany coachbuilder Binz. They were best known for producing Mercedes-Benz E Class limousines, ambulances, and heavy-duty chassis. Binz and Peter entered into discussions. Binz agreed to produce their first production hearse (the 211 E-class Binz), and Peter formed Binz UK Ltd. From 2003, Binz products were the mainstay of the business.

Many of you will remember that first Binz. It truly was a mould breaker that altered the direction of the funeral vehicle industry. The hearse was launched with a diesel engine only, Elegance specification, with full glass coffin chamber including a glass roof. The styling was contemporary at the time, but has stood the test of time – demand for this timeless classic is still high.

Next came the 212 E Class, the limousine was launched with a panoramic glass roof fitted as standard. It became an overnight success.

04 Binz 211 L6 silver 01

Binz Mercedes (211) Limousine

The Changing Face of Funerals 

During the recession of 2008-2012, people began wanting something different from funerals.

The traditional religious ceremony was on the decline, and people wanted more of a celebration of life. This often meant an alternative to traditional hearses: motorcycles, HGVs, horses, or even novelty type vehicles.

The Pilato family (who were also a concessionaire for Nilsson) were famous for their flamboyant hearse designs. Peter saw an opportunity to bring a new style of vehicle to the UK funeral market. He arranged a meeting with Pilato to discuss the possibility of a relationship. From that meeting, Superior UK Automotive was born, and launched a series of the most exciting funerals vehicles the UK funeral market has seen.

The Man at The Centre of a Changing Industry 

From Volvo Cars, to Binz UK, and a ground-breaking partnership with Pilato in Superior UK Automotive, Peter Smith has been instrumental in changing customer expectations of funeral vehicles. He has always believed that coachbuilding should improve the quality of the vehicle. The standards and equipment we enjoy today were innovations introduced by Peter and the associated coachbuilders during his 30 years’ service to the funeral profession.

Happy retirement to Peter Smith.

Five Decades in The Specialist Vehicle Trade: Happy Retirement to Peter Smith is a post from Superior Automotive UK. The main Superior Automotive UK website is here.

 

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.

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.