According to Phil Vorwerk, President of United Commercial Upholstery (UCU), Suite Seatscustom replacement seats are unique in that they are as functional as they are attractive.” “That makes the investment in Suite Seats an easy decision for a lot of golf car owners.”
…“Consider for a moment”, says Phil, “that the seat is the point of contact between the rider and the machine and nothing will improve the comfort of a golf car as well as Suite Seats.”
“But besides the comfort advantage, with the exception of paint, nothing dresses up a golf car more than upgrading the seats!” “Think about how much real estate that seats have on a golf car and the fact that they stand proud…up high on the golf car.” “This means that the human eye is automatically drawn to the seating.” “We get a lot of calls from our dealers who explain all the modifications they have made, whether its graphics or rims, lifts kits – without upgrading the seats the golf car just doesn’t look done!”
Chris Vorwerk, Founder & Chief Engineer agrees and feels her Suite Seats have taken golf car seats to a whole new level. “We have seen the same thing with our OEM marine customers.” “About 10 years ago they realized two things.” “One was that the seats were one of the first things a customer looked at…their dealers were telling them that within seconds a typical customer would sit on them.” “The second realization was that in a few years the upholstery would be the first thing to fail.” Notes Phil, “We have simply taken the lessons learned in the marine industry and applied them to our Suite Seats.”
The Idea for Suite Seats…
…began to take root back in 2003 when United Commercial Upholstery (UCU) was approached with the idea of designing and building a sharp looking golf car seat. “It was a really good fit” says Chris. “We were already doing work for several boat manufacturers so we had the experience of what it takes to design and build a sharp looking golf car seat that would also stand up against the elements.” “A lot of people compare Suite Seats to the kind of seats you see on bass boats and I guess that’s a pretty close comparison.”
UCU took the design cues for their Suite Seat from what they had learned from the marine industry. For example, notes Chris, the boat OEM’s concluded a few years ago that piping was a bad idea because it collects water & dirt, is an uncomfortable pressure point and is the first place that will deteriorate and crack. “I’ll bet a lot of people reading this have been stabbed or scratched by rotted piping” added Chris. Another example is the use of Marine grade treated sub-strait that has a lifetime warranty against rot and de-lamination. From Chris, “A lot of people think that the chemical impregnated in the wood is responsible for it’s longevity but there’s more to it than that.” “Marine grade substrait is extremely dense and hard so from the beginning water has a difficult time soaking into it and it holds the staples real well.”
Phil also notes, “A lot of people may think our Suite Seats have only been around for about 1 ½ years but we have been making them for well over 5 years and we continually look for ways that we can make Suite Seats even better.” “It’s only been about 1 1/2 years ago since we branded them “Suite Seats” and went national with them.”
Suite Seats are a…
…complete seat replacement and available for virtually every make & model of golf car. They are very easy to install because they go on the cart exactly the same way the OEM seat came off. They feature rivet style T-Nuts that are embedded in the same positions as the factory seats so they accept the hip restraints & hinge tabs as well as the same mounting holes on the back rests. They’re available in 8 standard colors and this allows for 64 different color combinations at no additional cost.
Suite Seats are constructed with a solid foundation of marine grade substrate on top of which is a marine grade foam that is impregnated with biocides to inhibit mold & mildew. The vinyl is marine grade and engineered with UV protection. The staples and bolts are stainless steel and the rivet style t-nuts are zinc plated.
Suite Seats Can Be Customized…
…UCU also offers a significant number of custom colors, such as college sports colors, as well as custom fabrics, Sunbrella for example. “We’ve had a lot of fun with some of our custom work”, notes Phil. “For example we recently did some seats with a houndstooth fabric for a University of Alabama themed cart.” “The reason for the houndstooth pattern is because the legendary coach Bear Bryant always wore a houndstooth hat!”
For a complete look Suite Seats cushions are also available to fit most major brands of rear seat kits.
Another neat feature is the custom embroidery. Because UCU has their own in-house embroidery department they can control the entire embroidery process. This embroidery may be as specific as a corporate logo or golf course logo to a more general look such as the cart owner’s initials.
Suite Seats are constructed in the USA…
…using the same materials that UCU uses for their marine OEM’s. Phil is quick to point out that is the key to Suite Seats success. “Because we use the same high quality components for our marine products that we use in our Suite Seats we are able to take advantage of a combined purchasing power which is what makes Suite Seats affordable.” Besides he notes “Made In America just feels good to our dealers and their customers.
What’s New From Suite Seats…
…UCU has now introduced a new line of accessories. “For the most part these ideas came from our dealers so the response has been fantastic,” says Chris. “For example, we were the first to offer padded arm rest for rear passenger kits.” “It’s a great idea and our research revealed that no one was offering these, so we designed a cup holder into the arm rest and the result is a cool new item that everyone can afford.”
Also Suite Seats are starting to appear on some higher end golf course fleets, “That’s pretty exciting for us,” notes Phil. “Our golf course customers view our suite seats as an affordable way to elevate the golf experience above their competition…their membership is proud and their clients impressed.” “On a typical lease Suite Seats only adds a few pennies per round.”
Phil feels the future is very bright for Suite Seats and the golf car industry as a whole. “If you think about it,” says Phil, “with unstable gas prices and the growing trend to think green, then golf cars, specifically the LSV’s (Low Speed Vehicles), are only going to grow in popularity.” “Just for fun try Googleing Communities that allow golf cars and you will get page after page about towns that have changed their laws to allow golf carts on their streets.”
Suite Seats are available…
…only through UCU’s qualified dealer network. “We don’t sell direct to the public,” says Chris, “if someone calls we refer them to our nearest dealer.” “If there isn’t a dealer nearby then we contact the local dealer and let them know there’s a customer who wants to spend some money with them.” According to Phil, “we have been approached by several web-sites that sell direct to the end user but we feel that amounts to the same thing as cutting out the dealer and we want to protect our dealer’s margins.”
If you would like to become a dealer for Suite Seats, United Commercial Upholstery can be reached at 507-359-2277 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.