UK Funeral Industry Gets First Glimpse Of New E Class From Mercedes Benz

213 H4 Cover Shot

Superior UK’s Kevin Smith is back from a visit to Pilato in Italy and Binz in Germany. And he has some news about the next E Class.

We’ve known for some time that a new E Class design will be rolled out from Mercedes Benz. But, until now, the funeral industry hasn’t been able to take a close look at the aesthetics, technology, and drive of the new design. The Superior UK team recently spend a week in Europe, visiting their partners at Pilato and Binz.

“Our first stop was Pilato in Italy,” Kevin said, “where we were able to check on customer vehicles in build and discuss future products. We saw the first XF Grand Aurora come out of the paint shop, and briefed Pilato in on plans for four XJs customer vehicles.

“From Italy, we travelled to Stuttgart to spend time at the Binz factory. As part of this incredible visit, we were able to get a detailed look at the new E Class.”

Key figures from Superior UK and Binz met to discuss the run out of the current E Class and the merge through of production to new E Class. Kevin voiced questions on behalf of his funeral director customers, and was pleased to note just how easy it will be to merge the new E Class with existing vehicles in a fleet.

“The good news for funeral directors back in the UK is that the aesthetics of the new E Class are not so different from the outgoing model,” he noted. “Customers who want to add to their fleet without a total overhaul will be able to seamlessly blend their vehicles, and continue to complete their fleet without any cars looking out of place. Even though the cars will be from different years, the fleet will match.”

The Big Reveal: New E Class Model

Mercedes Benz say the new E Class is a “tour de force of technology”, and although the front end of the vehicles shares synergy with the outgoing model, anyone with a keen eye for cars will spot subtle changes.

But it’s on the inside that the differences really stack up. Interior space, ride quality, quietness, fit and finish have all been addressed by Mercedes Benz.

Standard specification includes LED headlights and taillights, satellite navigation, Active Brake Assist and PRE-Safe Sound.

All new E Class saloons will have the new nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox as standard, which delivers a high 72.4 mpg economy and lovely smooth shifts. Standard specification on the SE includes new sat nav, parking sensor and self-parking technology, impressive safety systems, and incredible 64-colour selectable LED interior lighting. The cars are luxurious to drive, with leather upholstery, heated front seats and an improved sense of space. But the car has a familiar look which will put it at home with your existing fleet.

This is all good news for any funeral director looking to add a new E Class to their fleet in 2017. The styling is the same, so old and new will merge into one classy looking fleet. But the quality of technology, the driver experience, and every detail of the fit and finish has been upgraded.

Continuity Of Design And Aesthetics

“On behalf of our customers, I am pleased to see the continuity in design language and ergonomics of the vehicle,” said Kevin. “This is great news for any customer who wants to mix their fleet or update just one limo or hearse. They’ll be able to do so without it being immediately obvious that they are running two models. “

The new E Class Estate will arrive in the UK market during October 2016, and Superior UK are gearing up to deliver the first of these stunning new vehicles in Spring 2017 with the limousine rolling out first and the hearse shortly after. The cars are already at Binz in Germany, and Superior UK are in touch every week to keep track of development work.

For more information about the new E Class, please contact Kevin Smith (for the South) or Greg Platt (for the North)

E Class News is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main funeral cars website is here.

The UK’s First Pilato Superstella Lands In Norwich

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

Pilato Superstella at Superior UK HQ

The Superstella before it left Superior UK’s HQ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allcock Pilato deck out

The Superstella’s bespoke deck

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

A view of the deck lit up at night

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

Terry Allcock with his new car at handover

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

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

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

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

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.

An Exclusive For Superior at NFE 2015

The NAFD National Funeral Exhibition is always a highlight in our calendar. But this year, the show was extra-special for Superior, our customers and our industry friends. Here are our NFE 2015 highlights…

Having Sidecar Hearses on the neighbouring stand to ours again. We were neighbours in 2013 and it was great to be next door again!
pilato funeral vehicle UK
Displaying a beautiful lit-up urn holder, a Swarovski-covered coffin (from Omega) and sparkly coloured coffin (Colourful Coffins) in our stunning vehicles.

But of course the absolute highlight of the show – for us, and for all involved – was officially handing over the brand-new Pilato Queen II Pilato hearse to proud new owners Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors.
The show was the perfect setting for handing over the stunning silver hearse, and the event was made even more special by a personal visit from the Pilato family who flew in from Italy!

It was great to meet so many of you, familiar faces, old friends, and new contacts too. Thanks for visiting the Superior UK stand at NFE 2015. We really enjoy this opportunity to speak to so many of you in person.

Tell us what you thought of our vehicles and new products! Head over to Superior UK on Facebook and join in the chat or comment on our NFE 2015 photo album. You can also send us a quick tweet at Superior UK on Twitter.

We’re back in the office now, so please contact Kevin and the Superior team for more information about new or used funeral vehicles.

PS We’ll blog more about that Queen II Pilato soon… we can’t wait to tell you more about this UK-first!

An Exclusive For Superior at NFE 2015 is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main website is here

Pilato Italy launch Queen II, available in the UK through Superior

The cover star of January’s Funeral Service Journal will be this stunning Pilato Queen II, a Jaguar XJ based hearse, newly delivered to C Bastock Ltd directly from Pilato in Italy.
Pilato Hearse UK Superior

David Bastock explains why he loves Pilato design and coachwork, and reveals news of the new Pilato hearse available in this country from Superior UK.

“The silver hearse you can see on the cover is our second Pilato vehicle,” said David, “and it’s the first Pilato Queen II in the country.” 

David, who is 7th generation of the Bastock family, explained the process leading up to delivery of the Pilato Queen II. “Until now, sourcing vehicles from Pilato has needed to be done directly,” he said. “For this hearse, we made several trips to Pilato in Italy, to discuss our specific requirements, ensuring the deck was built to our UK specification rather than the usual European style.”



From this year, it will be much easier for funeral directors like David to access the Italian flair and finish of Pilato’s funeral vehicles. Superior UK, the funeral vehicle specialists, have been working behind the scenes with Pilato and now proudly announce that they are the partner and supplier of Pilato’s Jaguar hearses in the UK. Pilato have been a fully-approved Jaguar manufacturing partner since 2007, and Superior UK are now the sole UK agent for Mercedes Benz and Pilato’s Jaguar products.

“Making the trip out to Pilato in Italy is fascinating for anyone keen on vehicle design and history,” said David. “Everyone at Pilato is very proud of the company’s heritage, and the premises are immaculate. We have particularly enjoyed working with lead designer Gianvittorio, who personally pens and designs all the new hearses and interiors. Like us, he is passionate about the work he does.”

C Bastock Ltd are now considering the purchase of a new vehicle from Pilato, and David explained how life will be made easier by having Kevin and Peter Smith at Superior as a Pilato supplier right here in the UK.


“We are excited about the launch of the new Pilato Queen II,” he said. “Along with Kevin Smith at Superior, we have been applying gentle pressure to Pilato for some time, encouraging them to design a new hearse. And it’s great to know that we can speak to Kevin or Peter at Superior about any aspect of the vehicle at any time.”


Although C Bastock Ltd are a relatively small family run funeral company, they pride themselves on innovation, doing what they can to stay one step ahead. David told us how his eye-catching fleet of silver Pilatos plays a significant role in the company’s image. “The silver fleet was actually my father’s decision back in the 1970s,” he recalls. “It was very unusual then. These days, the silver vehicles are our signature. Hence the decision to purchase Pilato again. The vehicles really do stand out from the crowd with the Italian design and finish. We get so many comments from families – when I pull up outside houses, I can hear the positive comments as we walk in. As for us, we love the Pilato for the marked difference in both the design and the quality of the build. And, of course, as we are based in the Midlands, it is very meaningful to run Jaguars. Families come to us who have worked for Jaguar their whole lives. It’s comforting to them to make that final journey in a Jaguar.”

Kevin Smith of Superior UK explained his part in the Pilato story. “We are delighted to now be working in partnership with Pilato and look forward to bringing these wonderful vehicles to the UK market.”

You can find us at Superior Automotive UK on Twitter and Superior Automotive UK on Facebook. For more about us please go to our main website – Superior Automotive UK.

Pilato Italy launch Queen II, available in the UK through Superior
 is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main website is here.

New Binz limousine helps Heart of England Co-operative maintain modern branding

The Heart of England Co-operative have always been a forward-thinking business. Their fleet are a key part of their brand’s modern image, so when it was time to purchase a new limousine, they asked Superior UK to help source a brand new Binz.
301014 Rugby Handover DS

Darryl Smith is the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s General Manager of Funerals. He told us why they continue to choose Binz vehicles to update their fleet. “Our fleet of 4 first-call vehicles is really eye-catching,” he explained, “with Flint Grey dark metallic paintwork, with colour-coded bumpers, alloy wheels and tinted glass. We love the look of the vehicles and we get lots of positive comments from our client families. We have always been impressed by the quality of the Binz vehicles, with great coachwork and detailed finish, and of course the fuel economy of the BlueEFFICIENCY models helps us stay competitive.”

Kevin Smith, from Superior UK, told us why he is always delighted to assist Darryl and the Heart of England Co-operative. “Darryl has many years experience in the funeral industry and understands how the right choice of vehicle can make a significant impact on a funeral firm’s image,” he said. “Limousines need to be safe, comfortable and reliable but it’s the finish and details which help build awareness and trust with families. It is a pleasure to help Heart of England expand their fleet. Darryl’s choice of the Tenorite Grey paintwork, with bespoke details on the cars, really makes their fleet stand out.”
301014 Rugby Handover Peter

The latest limousine to be delivered to Darryl is part of a continual programme which keeps the Heart of England Co-operative moving forward.

Superior UK looks forward to being of service to Darryl and his colleagues in the future as they expand their fleet and keep their company image fresh and distinctive.

You can find us at Superior Automotive UK on Twitter and Superior Automotive UK on Facebook. For more about us please go to our main website – Superior Automotive UK.

New Binz limousine helps Heart of England Co-operative maintain modern branding is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main website is here.

Fourth Superior fleet for sixth generation of Silletts family funeral service

Fourth Superior fleet for sixth generation of Silletts
Trust, commitment and personal relationships make all the difference in small industries. The funeral business is no different. That’s why, when Silletts Funeral Service in Manchester looked to purchase their fourth fleet of funeral vehicles, they once again turned to Superior UK for a service they know, like and trust.

Silletts is an independent family funeral directors, with 10 members of the Sillett family working in the business. Brothers Peter and Paul Sillett represent the fifth generation of the family, and their sons Joseph and Matthew now work in the business too, bringing the legacy of Silletts to a solid six generations of the family.

Superior UK, Binz funeral vehicle specialists, are a family business too. It’s this special synergy of family trust and close relationships which makes a difference to funeral directors like Silletts.

The history of Silletts dates back to 1875, with brothers Peter and Paul joining the business in the early 1980s. The horses and carriages were replaced by limousines and hearses in 1961, although back then Silletts used classic Austin Princess vehicles.

Paul, a partner in the business, and one of the key decision makers in fleet purchases, explained why Silletts have purchased three fleets of Binz vehicles in recent years.

“Silletts is a very old business but we work hard to maintain high levels of excellence, and place a lot of pride in innovation,” he said. “For example, we listened to feedback from families and decided to develop a mobile app to add an extra level to our services, and we put a lot of effort into maintaining our Little Lever chapels to reflect our high standards.

“The purchasing decisions we make about fleet vehicles are part of that dedication to quality and excellence.

“As you’d expect, we know all of the coach builders in the industry, and we looked at them all when it came to updating our fleet. But we always go back to Superior UK. Quite simply, the vehicles are the best out there. The other vehicles we’ve had from Superior have been so good that we didn’t want to change. And we appreciate the high levels of service and commitment from the Smith family and Richard, who looks after Superior’s customers here in the North.”
Silletts funeral binz Vehicles

Kevin Smith of Superior UK remembers back to the early days of the business’s relationship with Silletts. “We have served Silletts for a long time now,” he said. They were originally a Volvo customer of ours and, being a forward thinking company, they decided to purchase their first Binz Mercedes fleet back in 2005. Silletts are a refreshing family business and it’s a real pleaser working with them. Nothing is too much trouble and we enjoy sourcing and delivering quality vehicles to them. It’s our Northern Sales representative Richard Lockwood who deals with them on a daily basis but I personally attended the most recent delivery, and was pleased to get the opportunity to thank them for their valued custom in person.”

The drivers at Silletts have now been using the new hearse and two limousines every day for almost a year and haven’t had any reason to contact Superior’s after-sales care team. “The cars are quality,” said Paul. “They do exactly what we need them to do, and the extra touches like the glass roofs on the limousines get great comments from families. Fleet vehicles are a tool for the job and we need to do exactly what we ask of them, with no problems. In fact, this latest fleet went straight out on the road as soon as they were delivered. Binz vehicles from Superior are good to go, straight out of the box!”
Fourth Superior fleet for sixth generation of Silletts family funeral service is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main website is here.