Sirus Automotive of Wednesbury, Wolverhampton however, design and manufacture upfront accessibility for wheelchair users as either the passenger or driver. The significance of this independence for wheelchair users should not be underestimated and Sirus have seen their order books surge in recent years.
Graham Lloyd, Sirus sales and marketing manager, explained that superb customer service and attention to the needs of those customers as well as developing bespoke car conversion solutions are major reasons for their success in this market. “All customers are offered an on-going partnership with the company from the moment they enquire about a vehicle. This includes access to our mobile engineers who will come out to the customer to sort problems”, says Graham.
“Many customers visit our website, research the type of conversion they want and can virtually build their own car before making an appointment. We offer explainer videos and home demonstrations to make the viewing of our vehicles simpler. A number of our customers take advantage of our offer to visit the workshops to see the conversion of their vehicle at first hand. It is a very interesting and informative experience and they really get to see the quality of materials and workmanship that goes into each conversion.”
The most popular vehicle Sirus market is the Volkswagen Caddy and these are supplied by Greenhous VW Van Centre in Bilston. Sirus regard the VW Caddy as a top of the range product and have been converting them since 2009. The company are considering converting VW T6 Transporters and Caravelles in the future.
Speaking on behalf of the Greenhous VW Van Centre, Mark Garratley, fleet sales consultant, says: “It has been an honour watching from the side lines for the past 9 years as Sirus has grown into a highly successful and prestigious company. Greenhous are delighted to work in partnership with the supply of new Volkswagen Caddy Life Vehicles. This year alone we have supplied them with 40 plus vehicles and many more on order.”
A special feature of the VW Caddy conversion is a lowering suspension combined with a fully automated tailgate and a shallow ramp with unique grip surfacing. There are four types of conversion with the VW Caddy. Upfront as the driver, upfront as the passenger, an option for both of these, and an internal transfer option where the wheelchair user enters into the rear seat area of the VW Caddy.
Sirus offer a ‘buy back’ service for customers wishing to upgrade their vehicles and also provide a selection of refurbished approved used cars. Sirus used car customers receive the same level of aftercare as those who buy new.
Graham reflects on the growth of the company saying: “We are currently building 30 vehicles per month, whereas that was 11 just 6 months ago. Our research and development programme is in place. Product development and innovation is a very important feature of the Sirus business strategy and a team of employees work on developing the next generation of adaptations to the vehicles, keeping Sirus at the forefront of vehicle modifications for wheel chair users. There are around 8,000 wheelchair accessible vehicles produced each year and there are around 250 drivers in wheelchairs, this number is growing.”
Pictured: Graham Lloyd (left) and Patrick McVey, Sirus build technician.
For more information about Sirus, its products and services visit the website www.sirusautomotive.co.uk
For more information about the Volkswagen caddy and other Volkswagen vans visit www.greenhousvolkswagen.co.uk