THIRD-generation family-run coachbuilders Wilcox Limousines has broken new international ground by exporting two of its Jaguar XF hearses overseas to New Zealand.
The company, which has factories in Northampton and Wigan, exported the Jaguar XF hearses to Fountains Funerals & Monuments and Forrest Funeral Services of Auckland.
The major international deal, the first of its kind in Australasia, coincides with the company's 70th anniversary as the UK's leading coachbuilder.
Established in 1948 by William and May Wilcox, the company is one of only two Jaguar Land Rover Authorised Convertors in the world and the Jaguar XF hearses are available with either petrol or diesel engine options, or all-wheel drive.
The stunning XF models, launched by Wilcox in 2016, also have a three-year Jaguar warranty and are fully supported by Jaguar New Zealand.
Paul Wilcox, chief executive officer of Wilcox Limousines, said: "I'm proud to be supplying these vehicles and it's opened up a new era for Wilcox Limousines.
"We're experienced international operators, and have exported to markets all over the world but it's our first foray into Australasia so it's an exciting opportunity. Our experience means we're well placed to provide the same level of service to our New Zealand customers as we do for those closer to home."
The Jaguar XF hearses are constructed predominantly from aluminium, utilising methods usually reserved for the aircraft industry, meaning they are light in weight, more fuel-efficient and will retain their value for many years.
Both Fountains Funerals & Monuments and Forrest Funeral Services are part of InvoCare - the largest private provider of death care in the Asia-Pacific.
Tony Garing, InvoCare's South Island regional manager, said: "I'm delighted with the new vehicles as we strive to offer the best services, facilities and fleet to bereaved families. They will enable us to offer the very best service possible."
Wilcox's milestone Down Under follows on from its success at the International Funeral Trade Exhibition, Funeraire Paris, in the French capital in November.
The company received enquiries from all over Europe and beyond, such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, Egypt and North Africa, including Casablanca.
Over the years, Wilcox has built vehicles for use by the British Royal Family as well as for state funerals around the world.
It also holds the UK concessionaire for Nilsson Volvo funeral vehicles and just last year unveiled its latest fleets, as it launched the Volvo S90 Hearse and S90 Limousine.
For more information on Wilcox Limousines, visit www.limousines.co.uk