LIMA — A new name, new owner and new philosophy can be found at S&S/Superior, located at 2550 Central Point Parkway, Lima.
Sean Myers, of Kansas City, Missouri, opened S&S/Superior in August. He acquired Accubuilt, Inc. at that time. The business builds custom funeral cars and limousines.
“He’s a funeral car buff, and he’s got a great eye for design and style. He knows what funeral directors need and want. We know what the market needs, and so we go ahead and design and develop accordingly,” said Mike McKiernan, senior vice president sales, marketing and product planning.
Lima has been in the funeral car business since 1925, when Superior Motor Coach Body Company introduced a line of hearse bodies. Myers plans to continue that long tradition.
“We are on great financial footing now. We are poised for great success. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on new equipment in the last six months. We want to be here not just for another five years, let’s be here for another 100 years, McKiernan said.
The company currently employs approximately 50 people.
“Right at 50, with the majority being team members out on the shop floor who build the cars, who are really the most important people here,” McKiernan said. “We’ve got years and years of experience with people here. Some are second- and third-generation coach builders. There’s a lot of experience.”
Under Myers’ leadership, the company began to in-source things again.
“The market is so full, you need to produce your own products. You have better control over the cost, quality and availability, and so our new owner knows that, so he’s invested hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last six months to start this product all over,” McKiernan said.
The business prides itself on building superior, quality and classy vehicles.
“Nobody builds a car like S&S/Superior. Some people say you overbuild it: Too much steel, too much structure, too much strength, too much cost. We, on the other hand, feel we want to build a car that’s a premium built vehicle, one that not only gives funeral directors great reliable and dependable service for the first five years of its life but on the used car market, when sold to a secondary firm or smaller locations, that it gives them great service also,” McKiernan said.
It takes approximately six weeks to build a custom limousine or funeral car from start to finish. These cars are custom-ordered down to the color of the vehicle.
“When funeral directors drive down the road, the car that they drive says more about them than anything they own except for the funeral home,” McKiernan said. “So if they have a great-looking car, striking in appearance and the quality is extremely high and gives great service when a family needs it, almost at the worst time of their lives, the funeral director when the car goes down the road and their name is on the side of it says a lot about the quality of service they provide families,” McKiernan said. “You have some people that all they will buy is an S&S, the very finest, just like a Rolex Watch.”
The business is also keeping up with the changing times.
“Cremation is growing to be more and more popular. We have options that allow the urn to be carried safely and tastefully in the funeral car. So you can use an urn and transport with safety, respect and dignity,” McKiernan said.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.