Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Don’t miss Durham’s hidden Café gem

Looking for a new local Café that serves freshly prepared breakfast and lunch dishes of restaurant quality for a fraction of the cost? Offering a gluten free menu with ingredients sourced from local suppliers? Then you really need to pay a visit to Café Dafté.
Café Dafté is based within the Pulman Volkswagen (Abbey Road) and Pulman SKODA (Belmont) Durham showrooms. Not what you would usually find in a car showroom! But this is something unique to Pulman Group.

A new summer menu has just launched with a wide selection of freshly prepared choices! The most important meal of the day – breakfast and what better way to start with a full English available for only £5.25; saving some room for elevenses why not opt for the light English breakfast for only £4.25.





With a selection of beans on toast, scrambled egg or even poached egg on toast for only £2.40 the menu caters for all appetites. Some of the breakfast specials Café Dafté are renowned for include the bacon or sausage sandwich on choice of bun, waffles with bacon and eggs and the fantastic eggs benedict. Of course, there are the classic toast, porridge or fruit granola options available as well.
Samantha Gilholm, Manager at Café Dafté comments: “We’re extremely pleased to announce that our brand-new summer menu is now available to the public. Over the past 6 months we’ve collated feedback from our customers to help shape our new menu whilst ensuring that the new additions continue to offer a gluten free alternative and are made from locally sourced ingredients.”
Some of the new lunch additions include a delicious freshly prepared chicken Caesar salad, with crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons, grated parmesan and grilled chicken breast, served with a Café Dafté homemade Caesar sauce. A traditional cheese burger and meatball sub both served with hand cut chips are exciting additions to the menu. Looking for that vegetarian option? There are two new options: the Mediterranean vegetable moussaka or a pea & parmesan risotto.


This café is a real hidden gem in Durham, yes it is located in the Pulman showrooms, but they are open to the public. You don’t have to be a customer of Pulman to enjoy this fantastic Café which boast very competitive prices for all menu items. The quality of the menu and the dishes are more bistro, restaurant quality than what you would normally find in a café! You can even enjoy the fantastic range of drinks available from Earl Grey’s tea, to illy Coffee.


We’ve enjoyed some glorious sunshine over the last few weeks, if you are in the area you can even pop in and enjoy a delicious Beckleberry ice-cream; vanilla, strawberry, chocolate fudge and hazelnut flavours another locally sourced offering from the heart of the North-East. Pulman inspired the Café concept in their flagship Volkswagen Abbey Road showroom nearly 20 years ago and replicated the concept in their state of the art SKODA showroom which opened last year. It gives their customers and the local public a treat that you wouldn’t expect in a car showroom. Quality fresh food, in a relaxed atmosphere with free Wi-Fi and a choice of a gluten free menu. With rave reviews on TripAdvisor, Café Dafté is a must-visit restaurant in it’s own right.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Pulman ŠKODA Showroom turns one!

It’s been a full year since Pulman ŠKODA opened its flagship £2-million-pound showroom at Belmont, Durham just off the A690.



It’s been a whirlwind 12 months for Pulman ŠKODA with numerous events which have included, the launch of their in-house Café Dafté; open to the public, authorised repairer accreditation for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, the introduction of a Yoga and Pilates Studio in partnership with MyBody Studio’s, welcoming three brand new ŠKODA models including the Superb, Octavia and the award winning Kodiaq and even the expansion of the used vehicle forecourt to showcase used commercial vehicles.



Growing from only 4 members of staff to over 44 Pulman have retained their title as the ŠKODA UK New Car Retailer of the year for 2016, as well as receiving awards for best Motability retailer and Fleet Excellence performance. Pulman SKODA have truly achieved a lot in such a short period priding themselves on delivering a fantastic customer experience.
Ian Jarvis, Pulman ŠKODA Sales Manager comments: “It’s been a fantastic year! We’ve made this amazing showroom our new home and have welcomed many new customers into the business and our staff together have continued to delivere that fantastic customer experience. Winning awards for new car, Motability and fleet performances is a credit to each member of the team. More importantly we want to thank all our customers, followers and fans for their support and of course for choosing Pulman.”

The state-of-the-art showroom is home to the Café Dafté, an in-house Café that serves fresh and restaurant quality food. Café Dafté is also celebrating its one-year anniversary by launching a brand new menu in the coming weeks. Sam Gilholm, Café Manager comments: “We are very excited to launch our new menu. The feedback and customer support over the last 12 months has really helped us develop our menu ensuring we provide high quality freshly made dishes made from locally produced ingredients.”

Of course, you don’t have to be a Pulman ŠKODA customer to enjoy the Café Dafté menu, they’re open to the public for both takeaways or to dine in; and for summer 2017 the new outdoor seating area caters for al-fresco dining. Many customers have enjoyed Café Dafté so far with over an astonishing 93,000 cups of coffee and tea served since opened!


Pulman ŠKODA are certainly a unique car retailer, with its solar energy showroom (saving 22,000 KW of energy last year no less), courtesy bikes, cars and vans, in-house Café and Yoga studio and of course delivering that fantastic customer experience. We look forward to seeing what the next year holds – happy birthday Pulman ŠKODA. 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Introducing the all new ŠKODA Karoq


The ŠKODA Karoq is the new compact SUV, confirmed as the current ŠKODA Yeti replacement. The new Karoq will share designs and technology with the latest ŠKODA range, notable positioned as the ŠKODA Kadiaq’s little brother – from the classic ‘cradle’ of the ŠKODA badge on the bonnet, to the crystalised signature lines throughout, the new LED ‘eyelash’ design and ‘C’ shaped taillights. 
Built on the current Volkswagen Group MQB platform, the new Karoq will likely be similar to the current SEAT Ateca and Volkswagen Tiguan. The new ŠKODA Karoq, officially revealed on 18th May, will likely go on sale late 2017 for deliveries early 2018.

Bernhard Maier, ŠKODA’s CEO insists that the ŠKODA Karoq will impress with its unique brand identity alongside the typical ŠKODA strengths”. With the introduction of the Karoq, ŠKODA is now setting the next SUV milestone and we can’t wait to see it in our showroom! 




Determined to ensure the Karoq has the distinct ŠKODA identity, the design team have created an interior which is visually impressive, practical and Simply Clever. The boot, which can be opened hands-free using the virtual pedal, has a capacity of 521 litres with the back seats in place. With the rear seats folded down, this volume increases to 1,630 litres. Need to carry more? In typical ŠKODA fashion the seats can be completely removed, effectively transforming the SUV into a van with a maximum loading capacity of 1,810 litres. 

The Karoq also offers state-of-the-art functions and interfaces. It sports infotainment online services (used for information and navigation) and CareConnect services, including Emergency Call (for emergency/breakdown assistance), and - for the first time in a ŠKODA - a digital instrument panel. This display panel shows key driving, sat-nav and infotainment information in the instrument binnacle. And the revolutionary technology does not stop there, the Karoq also features the popular SmartLink interface which is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.





The Karoq is also packed with driver assistance systems. With Parking Assistant, Lane Assistant, Traffic-jam Assist and Blind Spot Detect to name a few, the Karoq is right at the sharp end of whats on offer in the SUV segment. 

With a choice of five engines - two petrol and three diesels -  it is difficult to pick a fault with the Karoq’s range.  All feature start/stop technology, break recovery and comes with driving profile selection (with a choice or Normal, Sport, Eco, Individual and Snow available on some trims). According to TopGear, the driving profiles are a welcome addition. The Karoq performs well on the road and comfortably deals with the rough when you venture off the beaten track. 

This new compact SUV will be celebrating its world premiere on the 18th of May in Stockholm, with its launch rumored to follow in the second half of 2017. Although ŠKODA have not yet confirmed pricing, it is through to be close to the current Yeti’s £17,000 starting price (Top Gear). While the UK specifications have not been announced yet, the ŠKODA Karoq has the potential to set a new benchmark for the compact SUV segment. Whether it is down to its dramatic looks, revolutionary technology or the creation of a new class, the Karoq is more certainly a game-changer. 




Head over to pulmanskoda.co.uk to view our latest offers #ThatsPulman 



Friday, 28 April 2017

Local business driving support for Culture Bid

SUNDERLAND’s City of Culture Bid is hoping its on the road to success, after gaining the backing of yet another high profile supporter.

The Pulman Group, which has four garages across Sunderland and Durham, will be displaying three City of Culture branded cars, adorned with Sunderland 2021’s distinctive colours, in an effort to raise awareness of the city’s bid to scoop the crown in the hotly-anticipated competition.  

Strategically placed at Pulman’s showrooms, it is hoped the cars will attract attention and act as a conversation-starter, as the submission date for the bid draws ever closer.  


Chris Slater, Communications Manager at Pulman, said: “We are incredibly proud to be able to support the bid. Hundreds of people pass our showrooms every day, so we know that having a presence like this will increase visibility of the bid and hopefully get people excited about Sunderland 2021 and what it could mean for the city.   

“We have been in Sunderland for nearly ten years, and employ a lot of people from here, so we really do care about the city and would love to see it succeed – not only for the people of Sunderland, but for the whole region.  It is great – as a local business - to show our support for the bid and hopefully help with this final push before the first stage of the competition begins.”

He added: “The changes in Sunderland are already visible and there is so much investment being ploughed into the city. Anything we can do to further that progression can only be a good thing, and winning City of Culture 2021 would provide the impetus for more growth.”

The first stage of the bid is to be submitted on April 28, with the winner announced later in the year.

Sunderland is up against Coventry, Hereford, Paisley, Perth, Portsmouth, St Davids, Stoke, Swansea, Warrington and Wells, so every bit of support counts.

Rebecca Ball, director of Sunderland 2021, said: “This is a phenomenal display of support from Pulman Group and we are incredibly grateful to them for getting behind us and helping us to spread the word about this bid. Three branded cars showing Sunderland 2021’s colours is a sure-fire way to get noticed and will hopefully give us a final push before the bid is submitted this month.

“The competition is fierce and we have to demonstrate that we have a groundswell of support for our bid, not only locally, but regionally. Having local businesses showing such visible signs of support is of paramount importance and the more local businesses behind us, the more the judges will see just how much we all want this. It’s not too late to show your support.”

Winning City of Culture status could do wonders for Sunderland’s economy, as it can deliver a multi-million-pound boost for the successful city.  It is estimated that this year’s City of Culture, Hull, will see an extra £60 million to its economy. The city has already seen a £1 billion boost in investment since being announced as the winner of the title in 2013.


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Pulman SEAT & SKODA scoop National awards


Pulman celebrated a brace of awards for their SEAT and ŠKODA retailers. Pulman SEAT, based in Sunderland secured the ‘Best UK Sales Performance’ and the site overall was recognised with a Bronze Award for overall performance.  No to be outdone the fantastic new Pulman SKODA site based in Belmont Durham won the ‘Best New Car Sales’ for ŠKODA too. A fantastic achievement for Pulman Group.

Each year SEAT UK and ŠKODA UK award the top performing dealers in the network. Pulman SEAT and Pulman ŠKODA triumphed over 133 SEAT retailers and 128 ŠKODA retailers respectively.

Both awards are measured on numerous criteria throughout the year, but to win an award Pulman have shown excellence in both sales volumes and customer service performances.
Chris Slater, Head of Business at Pulman SEAT comments: “We are so proud to be awarded these prestigious awards. At Pulman, our key objective is to deliver a fantastic customer experience, the fact that both our sites have been recognised with these awards is testament to this. This is down to the hard work of every single person at Pulman, going above and beyond for our customers! A special mention goes to my Sales Manager Alex Paget and his team, the best SEAT sales team in the UK, it takes huge dedication and focus to achieve this accolade. We also want to thank our amazing customers who have given us great feedback and support which has allowed us all to receive this award!”

Pulman SEAT acquired Alexander Bridge Cars Sunderland in 2010, a SEAT retailer with a long heritage in Sunderland. With over 27 years at the same location and with countless awards since 2010, it is safe to say that the Pulman Family has had a positive influence.





In contrast, Pulman ŠKODA Durham which is still in its infancy, was formed in 2015 within a pop up showroom and then moved into its purpose-built flagship showroom in Belmont, Durham in the summer of 2016. A brand-new site which has won ŠKODA New Car Retailer of the Year for two years in a row!

An ecstatic Ian Jarvis, Pulman ŠKODA Sales Manager comments: “It is fantastic to be recognised for the second year in a row by ŠKODA UK for our 2016 performance. I’d like to thank the Pulman SKODA staff and customers for supporting us throughout these past two years, from the small pop up facility to the fantastic showroom we have today. Going above and beyond for our customers to ensure that their next car is perfect for them.”



Pulman who represent SEAT, ŠKODA and Volkswagen are not your usual car retailer. With subtle surprises such as the fantastic Café Dafté in  Pulman Volkswagen, Durham & Pulman SKODA, where high quality meals are freshly prepared daily, food that could rival restaurants at Café prices. Complimentary drinks and free Wi-Fi for Pulman customers at all locations, there’s even a pilates and yoga studio at Pulman ŠKODA.

Chris Slater continues: “We want to establish a lifetime engagement with our customers. A relationship where customers buy their first car right with Pulman through to choosing their last, meeting and exceeding their needs through their journey. It is difficult to differentiate yourself on price alone these days as everyone has offers. However, we believe in delivering that fantastic customer experience through our Pulman people, will give us an edge over our competition.”




Friday, 17 March 2017

Sunderland duo Pulman SEAT and 103.4 Sun FM once again team up!



Sunderland car retailer Pulman SEAT are proud to announce their continued partnership with Sunderland’s number one radio station, 103.4 Sun FM for the sixth consecutive year. 

This year 103.4 Sun FM chose the SEAT Ateca as their station car. The new SUV boasts generous boot capacity which makes the Ateca the ideal station car. This extra boot space means that 103.4 Sun FM can not only fit all their equipment in with ease, but they can now broadcast from anywhere in the North East. 

The Ateca, winner of WhatCar best small SUV award, is fully equipped with all the latest technology. From traffic jam assist to ambient lighting, SEAT’s first SUV is perfectly adapted to take you wherever you need to go. Full Link Technology will allow 103.4 Sun FM to connect their smartphone and enjoy all their mobile apps, and the wireless mobile charger makes topping up tech effortless.

Chris Slater, Site Manager at Pulman SEAT said “it’s fantastic to team up with Sun FM once again, this is the sixth SEAT we have provided to be a part of the Sun FM team. At Pulman Group we are passionate about supporting the local area and community. We are proud supporters of the Sunderland 2021 bid and are always looking for new ways to push our fantastic city. Teaming up with 103.4 Sun FM is a great way to support Wearside.”

The unveiling of the new station car was made even more exciting as this was the first official showcase of 103.4 Sun FM’s new logo, which looks fantastic against the white background of the SEAT Ateca.


Julian Carter, Managing Director of 103.4 Sun FM said “In our 20th birthday year we are thrilled to extend our partnership with Pulman SEAT as we are both local business that are proud to serve the North East. The SEAT Ateca is a fantastic car and this year being out and about more than ever, it felt right to have a bigger vehicle. We continue to choose Pulman SEAT as they always deliver their company goal of delivering a fantastic customer experience. 


(Mark Black – 103.4 SunFM presenter picking up the brand new SEAT Ateca from Pulman SEAT)







Monday, 6 March 2017

A STAR car from Pulman ŠKODA

Pulman ŠKODA have partnered with STAR 102 – 107 FM local radio station, providing a brand new ŠKODA Yeti as their new station car, ready to tour the North East. 



STAR Radio were looking for a car that could carry radio equipment throughout County Durham and North Yorkshire, the brand new family run Pulman ŠKODA showroom in Durham seemed like a perfect fit, a local car for a local station from a locally run retailer.

The Yeti, the iconic ŠKODA SUV with four-wheel drive technology provided STAR radio the perfect station car. With a generous boot capacity, the Yeti is ideal for the radio crew’s sound equipment. Along with DSG automatic, satellite navigation and Bluetooth phone preparation, STAR radio can be assured of a fantastic driving experience.

STAR 102 – 107 FM covers Durham, Darlington and North Yorkshire with fantastic music, and a breakfast and drivetime show that has grown its audience recently. John Clayton, Managing Director for STAR Radio comments: “We were looking for a station car that could represent us throughout County Durham and ideally from a local supplier. After talking with Pulman ŠKODA it seemed like a perfect partnership. Pulman with their new ŠKODA showroom in Durham, who are also customer and community focused, aligned with our own values.”

After receiving the ŠKODA Yeti, Emil Franchi STAR Radio’s new Drivetime presenter who’ll be driving the eye catching Yeti commented: “When the cover came off and the car with STAR radio logo’s was revealed everyone was very excited! The car looked great and I was even more excited when I learned the Yeti was an automatic and had Sat Nav. I can’t wait to drive it”.

From leaving Pulman ŠKODA the STAR radio team went on a tour of Durham, from the iconic cathedral to the Riverside cricket ground at Chester-le-Street, the STAR Yeti visited some of the most popular sites in County Durham. But the road trip doesn’t end there, while the Durham leg of the tour has already kicked off, the STAR car will be visiting Darlington and North Yorkshire across the coming weeks and months.

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Emil thought it was great to be able to drive the new ŠKODA Yeti around his home town and “was particularly impressed with the additional features and gadgets the car offers alongside a very smooth and comfortable journey”.


Natalie Wilson, Marketing Manager at Pulman ŠKODA, expressed how passionate Pulman are about supporting the local area; “We were very excited when STAR radio approached us with their idea for a new station car, by partnering with STAR radio and their #LoveLocal campaign the STAR car tour is a great way to showcase both STAR and Pulman SKODA around the North East. We can’t wait to see where the STAR Yeti goes next”.