LIMA — From horse-drawn carriages to the newest model off the assembly line, S&S/Superior Coach Company continues to provide quality hearses.
S&S Coach Company began providing horse-drawn carriages in 1876. Superior, which began producing in Lima in 1923, purchased S&S in 1982 to combine for one of “the oldest, most respected brands in the industry,” said Mike McKiernan, senior vice president of sales, marketing and product planning.
It’s that distinguished nature that keeps the company striving to produce the highest quality hearses today. S&S/Superior sells to funeral directors across the country and into Canada.
“(S&S) was the only hearse company that made the successful transition from horse-drawn to automotive,” McKiernan said. “It’s known as the finest. It’s the Cadillac of hearses, if you will, the Rolex brand, the finest that money can buy. That heritage has continued over the years. With our team members we have here, many are second- and third-generation coach builders. They appreciate that history.”
Kevin Stechschulte has been with the company for 38 years, but he experienced a different kind of pride recently as one of the company’s hearses was used in his mother’s funeral services. He said he received countless compliments on the vehicle from family members.
“It comes down to a culture more than anything, of people wanting to do a fine job the first time and understanding the importance of the vehicle, what it’s used for,” McKiernan said. “It’s important that it operates flawlessly every time a funeral director has a need for it to operate.”
S&S/Superior Coach Company continues to produce top-of-the-line hearses.
As funeral services evolve more toward cremation, so too have the hearses. Now, you can even find hearses with urn holders.
“It’s important to be a market-driven company,” McKiernan said. “We’ve been in business a long, long time, so it’s important we innovate according to what customers need.”
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.