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.

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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.

Two New Mercedes Benz Vitos Help AJ Wakely Cover Large Rural Area

With 10 offices covering a large expanse of three rural counties, AJ Wakely & Sons funeral directors need vehicles they can rely on. Director Clive Wakely explained why he opted to add two more Mercedes Benz Vitos to his hard working fleet.

“We are always busy,” said Clive, “and contracts with two coroners mean we need to get from A to B in less than an hour. Our private ambulances need to help us navigate that rural area quickly and without fuss.”

When Clive decided to replace his two 9-year old Vito removal vehicles, he briefly considered cheaper options to see if anything could match the Mercedes Benz Vito for performance and style.

“Even as we looked around, we always knew we would come back to Vitos,” explained Clive, who has run this kind of private ambulance since 2008. “They have a great reliability record and look so professional. It wasn’t long before we realised there was no reason to change to any other vehicle. There is a certain prestige to a Vito which no other vehicle can match.”

Wakely Mercedes Benz Vito delivery Superior UK

Superior UK have provided AJ Wakely & Sons with all of their previous Vitos (two in 2008, and one last year). Clive asked Kevin Smith at Superior about the latest available options before he settled on his specifications.

“We added a few new details, but perhaps the most useful is built in sat nav and air conditioning,” said Clive. “Proper sat nav is a great help to a business of our size and scale.

Wakely Vito decking interior Superior UK

“The finish is excellent and the decking is far superior to anything you get anywhere else. People do notice small details like that, even on a removal vehicle. It is a mistake to think that only hearses and limousines matter. A Vito helps us project the image of the business and shows that we are serious about professionalism.”

Kevin Smith of Superior UK said it has been a pleasure to assist Clive with AJ Wakely’s Vitos for nearly a decade.

“Clive’s first vehicle delivery from us was in 2008,” he said. “Each Vito is worked hard and will cover around 100,000+ miles before being replaced. It is great to know that we can help.

“Clive always likes a good level of specification and this recent order was no different. Both Vitos are fully equipped with factory fitted navigation, air-conditioning and parking sensors. The exteriors are beautifully finished in brilliant silver metallic paintwork with colour coded bumpers and alloy wheels. Even the Superior UK ‘Rise&Fall’ decking is finished in heavy duty grey laminate so it blends in perfectly with the paintwork.

“These are truly good looking vehicles which help AJ Wakely promote a professional image. We are delighted to continue supporting AJ Wakely nearly 10 years after their first delivery from us.”

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

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) 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.

Superior UK Hosts FC Douch At Binz Factory in Germany

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It’s not often that you get to see how the vehicles you drive every day are built. But that’s exactly what happened when Jonathan Stretch from FC Douch & Sons (Funerals) Ltd in Dorset was invited to the Binz factory in Stuttgart, Germany.

The trip was part of Superior UK’s planned visit to Binz. Kevin Smith of Superior was travelling to Pilato in Italy and Binz in Germany to discuss customer requirements and get involved in the development of future products.

The Douch Family Funeral Directors have been customers of Superior for more than 10 years. In that time, Kevin has sourced and delivered all their funeral vehicles. With 8 branches across Dorset, Douch Family Funeral Directors run a large fleet of Binz and Mercedes Benz funeral vehicles and personal vehicles.
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As part of this very special customer visit, Jonathan Stretch from Douch Family Funeral Directors received a personal tour of the Binz factory. “It was a wonderful trip,” he said. “From the minute I landed, I had an informative, entertaining and amusing time. Everyone at Binz was welcoming and obviously very proud of everything they are doing at the factory.

“Having purchased many Mercedes Benz vehicles over the past 10 years, I was keen to see the actual build process. When Kevin at Superior said he could help facilitate this, I jumped at the chance! We are long serving customers of Superior and this just demonstrates Kevin’s genuine commitment to customer relationships.”

Jonathan was particularly keen to see the new E Class. “It was fascinating to see how the cars are built from the ground up,” he said. “We are already considering the new E Class as future hearses and limousines. Getting to see the vehicle in the factory gave us a new level of insight into the build quality.”
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During the visit, Kevin and Jonathan also enjoyed visiting the historic Mercedes-Benz museum at Stuttgart.

Kevin was delighted to have a role in hosting Douch Family Funeral Director at Binz. “We have enjoyed working with the Douch family over the past decade and it was a pleasure to host them,” he said. “We really enjoyed Jonathan’s company and appreciate him taking the time out to visit Binz.”

Superior UK Hosts FC Douch At Binz Factory in Germany is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main funeral cars website is here.

It’s A Superior Surprise For Thomas Grieve & Son

When Anthony Grieve arrived at work on 18th November, he was presented with a huge surprise from his father Bill Grieve: a brand-new Binz hearse and limousine to mark the handover of business from father to son.

WP_20151117_15_16_04_ProUnknown to him, his father Bill had been working away behind the scenes with the help of Kevin Smith at Superior UK to arrange purchase and delivery of two bespoke vehicles. After 28 years running Thomas Grieve & Son, Bill plans to retire next year. What better way to begin the handover than with two shiny new cars, custom-built to the Grieve family’s exact specifications.

The Mercedes hearse and limousine vehicles were manufactured at Binz in Germany and delivered to Thomas Grieve & Son’s West Lothian offices by Superior UK, Binz’s UK partner.

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Like the rest of the firm’s fleet, the two new vehicles are stunning Palladium Grey which demonstrates Grieve’s modern, forward-thinking mindset. “We are in the process of upgrading our entire fleet to matching Palladium Grey Binz Mercedes vehicles,” said Bill Grieve. “As far as we are aware, we are the only funeral directors in the area that use this colour.”

Bill Grieve and his own father, Thomas, started the business in 1987 in Blackburn, West Lothian. The company is still based in Blackburn but has now grown, employing 15 members of staff across four locations, and offering chauffeur hire services. The happy recipient of the vehicles, Anthony Grieve, represents the third generation of this thriving and hard-working funeral firm.

“As soon as I saw the new cars in the yard, I realised what Dad had arranged,” said Anthony. “I was blown away by the surprise. The cars were put to work straight away and have been a huge asset to our fleet. My Dad and I have run the business tougher for the past eight years, and I’ll use the solid work-ethic he’s taught me to take the business forward when he retires.

“My own sons – the fourth generation – will join the business before too long. I hope these cars will still be in our fleet then, so I can in turn pass them down to my sons.”

The new hearse and limousine join Grieve’s existing fleet of two Binz hearses and limousines, and four Mercedes Binz family cars, all in the eye-catching Palladium Silver.

“This was a very special delivery of a hearse and limousine,” says Kevin Smith at Superior UK. “It was all arranged as a top secret gift from Bill Grieves to his son, and we were honoured to be a trusted part of the arrangements. The handover was very special!”

It’s A Superior Surprise For Thomas Grieve & Son is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main funeral cars website is here.