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.

W S Ingham Pilato Visit

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.

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

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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) Kevin.Smith@superioruk.com or Greg Platt (for the North) Greg.Platt@superioruk.com.

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

Funeral Industry First For Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors With Pilato SPA and Superior UK

The delivery of two new Pilato XJ limousines marks the latest installment in the story of Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors’s relationship with Pilato SPA and Superior UK. But it’s far from the final chapter.

Superior Pilato for FSJ
Here’s the story behind this ground-breaking fleet.

When Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors took delivery of their two brand-new Pilato XJ limousines, it completed their current fleet of stunning Pilato vehicles. Anthony O’Hara explains why he made the decision to work closely with Pilato SPA in Italy and Superior UK, Pilato’s UK distributor, to create a fleet which is turning heads.

“We took delivery of a Queen II Pilato hearse earlier this year,” he said. “The vehicle was considered so special that it was unveiled at the National Funeral Exhibition, and Barbara and Gianvittorio flew in from Pilato Italy specifically for the handover event.

“Our two Pilato hearses – a Queen I and the Queen II – have proved so popular with families that we decided to order two fully-customised Pilato XJ limousines.”

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Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors are a busy family firm serving a wide area across Dorset. They pride themselves on excellence, winning several local and industry awards for business and customer service. In fact, they have recently won the Customer Service Award at the fourth Blackmore Vale Media Business Awards. They extend this commitment to excellence to their fleet.

Their two new Pilato XJ limousines herald a new standard in UK funeral industry vehicles: the cars are the first Jaguar limousines made outside the UK.

Kevin Smith of Superior UK said he was delighted to serve O’Haras with their industry-first choice of fleet vehicles. “Superior UK is very proud to be partner and supplier of Pilato SPA’s Jaguar vehicles to the UK market. Pilato has been a family managed company for over 50 years and a fully-approved Jaguar manufacturing partner since 2007. They are one of Europe’s most successful funeral vehicle suppliers and their vehicles are some of the most sophisticated in the world. We share solid family values and an ongoing desire to provide excellence to all our customers. As UK agent for Mercedes Benz and Pilato’s Jaguar products, we get a great deal of satisfaction out of handovers like these!”

Funeral Industry First For Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors With Pilato SPA and Superior UK 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.
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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.”
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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.

Forward thinking Co-operative turn to Superior UK for the most up-to-date removal vehicles

When the Heart of England Co-operative decided to update their first call vehicles, they turned to Kevin Smith and family at Superior UK for high-performance products with truly modern look.

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“We wanted to update the first call vehicles in our fleet,” said the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s General Manager of Funerals, Darryl Smith, “and the obvious decision was to ask Superior UK to help us with vehicles which fit with our modern look.”

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The Heart of England Co-operative Society is one of the most successful co-operative businesses in the country, and Darryl’s current position in the business marks more than 30 years experience in the funeral profession, of which 6 years are with the Heart of England Co-operative Society.

The Heart of England Co-operative had previously updated part of their ceremonial fleet with two new Mercedes Benz hearses and four matching Mercedes Benz limousines from Superior UK. These attractive vehicles were commissioned in the funeral firm’s own colour choice of Tenorite Grey with bespoke details including the AMG sport pack’s front and rear bumpers, along with stylish 5 spoke alloy wheels.

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The two new Vito first call vehicles from Superior UK were designed to closely match the six ceremonial vehicles, resulting in a fleet for the Heart of England Co-operative which is as eye-catching as it is reliable and efficient.

“We asked Superior UK to provide us with our new vehicles for a number of reasons,” explained Darryl. “We have built up a close relationship with Kevin and the Smith family, and know we can rely on them to provide us with the best vehicles, advice and support. They really understand the direction in which we want to take the business, and they appreciate that our vehicles are an important part of this. I know we can trust them to deliver.

“And we’re very keen on Mercedes-Benz vehicles, particularly the BlueEFFICIENCY models, which are safe, efficient and environmentally sound with great fuel economy.”

The Mercedes Benz Vito first call vehicles are striking, in Flint Grey dark metallic paintwork, with colour-coded bumpers, alloy wheels and tinted glass. “We’re extremely pleased with the vehicles,” said Darryl. “They were specifically designed to look more like an executive people carrier rather than a private ambulance. So far they have been very well received, and our colleagues who drive them seem impressed, too. The new features like cruise control, speed limiter, integrated blue tooth, air conditioning  and increased horsepower make them more enjoyable to drive whilst the hydraulic rise and fall decking gives us extra confidence in our approach to health and safety.”

The Heart of England Co-operative Society’s eight-fleet line-up of stunning grey Mercedes Benz vehicles from Superior UK is the perfect illustration of this modern, forward-thinking funeral business outlook. Their choice of vehicle is not the only innovative business decision they’ve made recently. Darryl is excited about the recent launch of the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s funeral app, designed for iOS devices, as it is one of the first Co-operative’s in the UK to use this type of technology in their funeral division.

Superior UK are proud to be the chosen automotive partner of such a successful and cutting-edge co-operative business and are delighted to provide quality vehicles which help Darryl and his team demonstrate their modern image whilst delivering on traditional values.

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.

Forward thinking Co-operative turn to Superior UK for the most up-to-date removal vehicles is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main website is here.

Why Grady’s Funeral Directors chose Superior UK as funeral vehicle supplier

Grady’s, the family owned firm of funeral directors in Hayling Island, have been providing an individual and personalised funeral service for over 120 years. They have recently chosen Superior UK as their new supplier for funeral vehicles.

Jane and her husband Peter run the business as a partnership with their two children and son-in-law also working within the business (representing the 6th generation to do so). Jane Grady, representing the 5th generation of the Grady family, explains why they are so pleased with the Binz hearse which has recently joined their fleet.

“Our business has a long history of quality in everything that we do. We need to partner with specialist suppliers who match our dedication to quality; those who understand how important attention to detail is when it comes to funerals. Our customers have confidence in us and, in turn, we need to have confidence in our suppliers – and in our vehicles.

“The Binz hearse we have recently received from Kevin Smith at Superior UK is the first vehicle to really excite us in some time. It is not only outstanding quality but has that wow-factor.”
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Jane says that it is not just the Binz vehicles which impressed her about Superior UK, but the customer service. “We came across Superior UK through a contact within Binz and were impressed by the entire set up of the company. Kevin is great to deal with. He has a deep understanding of our industry and of the funeral vehicle business and is able to immediately understand what we are looking for. He explains things at every step of the way, and it is refreshing that he has so much influence. He provides a direct route through to the factory and makes the process much smoother.”

The team at Superior treat every order as an important project, as Grady’sdiscovered. “Perhaps it’s because Superior UK are a family business, but it does feel as if they really care,” says Jane. “They are far more than staff members and we are more than just a customer. It seems as if Kevin understands the specific needs and pressures of the funeral industry. If he promises something, he delivers, and he’ll go out on a limb to do so. We all like dealing with him.”

The Binz hearse is doing well at Grady’s. “We really like the look of it,” says Jane. It’s smart and looks the part, with the amazing glass roof which lets light in on the coffin and floral arrangements. We have used it in the evening and it looks particularly stunning then with the lights on. My son likes the clever gadgets and fittings, like the extra storage space in the drawers. And it’s wonderful to have air conditioning which really works! That was invaluable this Summer.”

Grady’s are looking to replace their current limousine within the next two years and will ask Superior UK to help them find the ideal vehicle when the time comes.


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.

Why Grady’s Funeral Directors chose Superior UK as funeral vehicle supplier is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main website is here.

Richard Steel and Partners of Winchester turn to Superior UK for bespoke removal vehicle decking

When Richard Steel and Partners, Winchester’s family owned funeral directors, needed to modify their removal vehicle, they put in a call to Superior Automotive UK for a bespoke decking solution.

bespoke decking for funeral vehicle

“We had been a customer of the Smith family for many years and had always been very happy using them,” said Iain Steel of Richard Steel and Partners. “When we realised that we needed to install a completely customised decking system into the Ford Galaxy we use as a removal vehicle, Superior UK were the only people who could deliver the solution we needed to our timescale.”

Not only did funeral vehicle specialists Superior UK meet Iain’s important deadline for the vehicle modification, but the team did so with the customer service levels and attention to detail for which they are renowned.

“We knew that the finished vehicle would have to fit both a fully-wheeled and a traditional Model 11 stretcher,” explained Iain. “Kevin went to great lengths to ensure the job was done meticulously: measuring the stretchers before designing the decking system, and borrowing identical stretchers before fitting the final details, to make completely sure all the rollers and stops were in perfect alignment.”

Founded in 1860, Richard Steel and Partners are the fourth-generation funeral directors of Winchester. “It is important for us that we use a people-carrier type vehicle, rather than a private ambulance,” he said. “The modified Ford Galaxy has been well received by families and nursing homes. The help Superior UK gave us with the exact modification and finish of the vehicle certainly helps us achieve the look and style of vehicle we wish to present.”

Superior Automotive UK manufactured an estate-type split folding decking system for the Ford Galaxy people carrier, which accommodates one collapsible and one first-call stretcher. As an additional option, the driver’s side folds away to enable three bearers to travel at a time. The whole decking system neatly retracts into the boot area.

Kevin Smith of Superior UK said the job was a detailed and enjoyable one to complete for Richard Steel and Partners: “Not having built a deck recently for a Ford Galaxy, we set about building one from scratch to Iain’s specification. In order to ensure a secure load each time, we tailored the wheel and handle cups to the equipment which Richard Steel and Partners will use with the vehicle. This deck is available in a choice of finishes, and Iain chose a durable grey finish.”

Richard Steel and Partners run a sizeable fleet of funeral vehicles, with all their limousines and hearses being Mercedes Benz models supplied by Superior UK.

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.

Richard Steel and Partners of Winchester turn to Superior UK for bespoke removal vehicle decking is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main website is here.