S&S and Superior
S&S and Superior have added great new features to their 2016 professional vehicles. The 2016 line up will have funeral directors wanting to trade their older models for the new S&S or Superior styles that were unveiled at the NFDA show this year.
“We are returning to our roots this year,” says Mike McKiernan, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Development for S&S and Superior. “We have two outstanding brands. And, this year, S&S is celebrating its 140 year anniversary. That’s 140 years of continuous production.”
“We released a new coach, the S&S Park Hill, at NFDA this year,” explains McKiernan. “The Park Hill name dates back to 1958; it was a distinctive limousine styled funeral coach. The all-new 2016 S&S Park Hill is built on the Cadillac XTS chassis and features distinctive limousine styled windows. The S&S Park Hill will also come standard with a stainless steel roof band, a full painted top, and a traditional left or right hinged rear load door. Those who buy S&S products appreciate the history, longevity and prestige of the brand; they know that all S&S vehicles are refined, and well appointed,” says McKiernan. “And the new Park Hill will certainly fall right in line with that,” he continues.
This year, S&S and Superior are really taking time to focus on their brands, stressing quality and craftsmanship to get back to their heritage. They have brought back old names, but with new, modern car styles. Both brands carry a legacy of excellence and will continue to do so for many years to come.
“On the Superior side, we are refreshing the brand as well. With the new 2016 Superior hearses, we are really focusing on superiority in every respect. Our Sovereign is really a coach of exceptional value. It’s a high quality coach, very dependable, stylish, reliable and priced to compete with any coach in the market. For 2016, we are introducing optional oval limousine widows for our Sovereign models,” says McKiernan.
“We will also be widening the casket floors on both S&S and Superior Cadillac line up. The new width will be 44 inches wide, and the side doors open 80 degrees. Both are the widest in the industry,” mentions McKiernan.
With cremation being such a popular trend right now, S&S and Superior have found that people still want full funeral services. All S&S and Superior cars can be equipped with cremation/urn carrying devices. “This way the funeral director can still use our coach even when the family chooses cremation,” explains McKiernan.
New for 2016 is a Cadillac XTS limousine stretched 70 inches offered by both S&S and Superior. It will feature 4 inches of higher head room, conference style seating and plenty of leg room.
SVG Eagle & Federal Coach
With roughly half of the market share, SVG Eagle and Federal Coach, continue to excite customers.
“For SVG our Echelon will lead Eagle Coach. This has been the #1 seller since the mid-2000s For Federal it will be the Renaissance. Both The Echelon and Renaissance are the most innovative and functional coaches in the industry. Then there is the Ultimate and Kingley XTS coaches for Eagle and the Heritage for Federal. These are the best-selling workhorse models with styling and appointments that the funeral directors desire The Lincoln MKT funeral coach also will provide large functional size that is second to none,” explains Nathan Hurst, VP Sales and Marketing of SVG Eagle & Federal Coach.
SVG Eagle & Federal Coach will offer a complete line of limousines in 2016 ranging from a large 48” family six door to the largest limousine the XTS 70”. All are offered with raised roof for increased head room.
When it comes to a flagship product for 2016, SVG Eagle & Federal Coach will debut the The Echelon and Renaissance. “They are the finest duo available to the most discerning Funeral Homes,” says Hurst.
The Echelon has set the standard for 8 years and is widely recognized as the industries best funeral coach. The Renaissance although new to the Federal line up continues that same standard of excellence
Although SVG Eagle & Federal Coach are currently restricted as far as what they can “stretch” or build on by both GM and Ford, Hurst mentioned that, “If there was a chassis the met green standards and this was provided to us with all safety and DOT requirements implemented we would welcome that with open arms.”
As technology shapes the future of specialty vehicles for the funeral industry, SVG Eagle & Federal Coach has seen a significant impact on their vehicles as well.
“Technology already has had a phenomenal impact, especially with both the XTS and the MKT. All the features now expected on a new model car must be implemented into coaches and limousines we manufacture. Curtain airbags, reverse camera, advanced electronics are just a few of the high tech items we work with. It is challenging but ultimately it yields a very desirable product. It will only become more abundant in future models so we are making sure now that we are equipped both with qualified engineers and technicians capable to provide that edge we will need,” says Hurst.
There are always changes on the horizon but it still comes down to building a quality product that provides the functionality and dependability that each and every funeral home owner or director demands. “You don’t need to reinvent the wheel just make sure it rolls smoothly,” adds Hurst.
With a nice steady pace of new car orders already on the books, Armbruster Stageway continues to impress the market with quality vehicles. Looking forward to 2016, they will maintain the quality they are known for in addition to adding a few new features to their specialty funeral vehicles.
Cadillac did a minor refresh on their XTS model, which is the car that Armbrsuter Stageway currently builds on. So with the new year, customers will see a new upper and lower grill that has the new Cadillac badge, minor changes to the back of the car, and an upgraded on board computer system. The interior update had made the software more efficient and user friendly.
“On the new Cadillac XTS chassis, we are getting much better gas mileage than we were in previous models,” says Sean Myers of Armburster Stageway. “The turning radius of the new car is much better, and the braking system has been improved as well. These cars are now much more maneuverable, which is great in small towns with tight cemeteries,” he continues.
“We came up with a design that has been a departure from the more box-like or squared-off funeral cars that everyone is used to seeing. And this has led to funeral directors becoming much more involved in the funeral car purchasing process. They no longer need to rely so heavily on their dealership. They call us directly,” says Myers.
The Armbruster Stageway car speaks more to the car aficionado and someone who is buying a car more for how it looks and the design aspect, and not so much to the person who is just in a market for any car that gets the job done.
“Our car is a vehicle that is a great car and once you see it in person, you can see why people are calling us directly to get it. Everyone is really falling for the aesthetics of the car. We’ve had really great feedback from some of the high profile funerals that we’ve done because it is such an eye-catching car,” explains Myers.
Armbruster Stageway also offers a six door limousine.
“Our limousine is the only one that has the interior space that we felt was necessary for the six door limousine market. We stretch our rear door as well as the middle door, and that makes all the difference in the world in the 6 door limousine market,” explains Myers. “By adding the extra headroom in there, it really makes it a much larger car than what it was available on the market,” he continues.
Check out more of what Armbruster Stageway has to offer!