Extract from Therapy, Legitimation or Both: Funeral Directors and the Grief Process by Ivan Emke (2003):
One example of a product which is “sold” to funeral consumers is funeral automobiles. The sleek automobiles have become standard fare in funeral processions, but one can inquire about the function of these products. Do they help the families in their grieving? If not, why spend the money on them? Isard (2002) questions the need for funeral automobiles, arguing that families are choosing not to use them, in order to save money. The use of vehicles is generally a loss-leader, because funeral homes are not recovering the costs of a hearse and driver, which has a high fixed cost. But Isard notes that a funeral home’s fleet of vehicles is a great source of pride to the Funeral Directors, despite whether they are actually of value to clients or wanted by clients. (I have been told by Funeral Directors that they entered the occupation because, as young men, they were impressed by the cars that Funeral Directors had the chance to drive.)
Maybe this is an example of a product that Funeral Directors want, but is of no clear therapeutic value to client.