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”.  

Friday, 17 February 2017

County Durham business, Pulman ŠKODA, celebrates award win for excellent customer service



Motability customers in County Durham can be sure of receiving award-winning customer service when they visit local dealer Pulman ŠKODA, who have won a regional award for their work with the Motability Car Scheme. The accolade is part of a programme of awards, launched last year by Motability Operations, to recognise and reward outstanding customer service provided by local Motability dealerships. Pulman ŠKODA won the award from over 600 dealers a fantastic achievement and dedication from everyone involved.

The Dealer Awards programme is designed to reward best practice and ensure all Motability customers receive exemplary customer service across the Motability Scheme’s national dealer network. The Awards are judged on how a dealer delivers the Scheme to customers, which is assessed by customer feedback and reviews of their performance. All winners of the quarterly awards are automatically entered into the national, annual awards which are announced at the beginning of the following year.

Peter Wilson, General Manager – Dealer Relations at Motability Operations, explains:

“The focus of these awards is to thank our dealer partners for providing a consistently positive customer service experience, after all, they are often the first point of contact for our customers. It’s important for us to recognise our dealer partners who go above and beyond when representing the Motability Scheme and highlight those who are setting a great example of how to do it well, like Pulman ŠKODA. Many congratulations to them on their award.”

Celebrating their Motability Dealer Award win, Elizabeth Walton from Pulman ŠKODA, said: “All of us at Pulman ŠKODA are incredibly proud to win this Motability Dealer Award. Last year we have moved into our new Pulman ŠKODA showroom at Belmont Durham, along with undertaking a training programme to ensure that everyone in the sales team are qualified as Motability experts. Offering the very best service and experience to our customers. We want to thank Motability for this fantastic award. We look forward to continuing our award-winning approach to business and customer service and to welcoming many more Motability customers through our doors in 2017”


Anyone who receives the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance, the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment, War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement or Armed Forces Independence Payment can exchange their weekly payment to lease a new car through the Motability Scheme. Insurance, servicing, RAC breakdown assistance and replacement tyres are included in the cost of the lease.

For more information about the Motability Scheme and to find your local dealer, visit www.motability.co.uk or call 0800 953 7000.

For more information on Pulman ŠKODA please call 0191 300 6130 or visit www.pulmanskoda.co.uk.




Thursday, 26 January 2017


Top 10 Alternative Driving Songs


Something that’s never gone away as car technology advances is the desire to listen to great music while driving, especially if it compliments the scenery or relaxes you mid-traffic-jam. 

As a Guitar teacher I’ve been exposed to an enormous amount of Music of all styles and popularity levels. So, presuming that you already know the clichéd motorway big hitters from The Eagles, AC/DC and Bruce Springsteen, here are my Top 10 Alternative Driving Songs. All by bands you may’ve forgotten, or haven’t heard of at all.

Here’s the accompanying Spotify playlist - Get it saved and get in the car!


1) Everything Everything - To The Blade
Everything Everything are one of the most exciting British bands of the last few years, and what’s more, the 3 founding members were born and raised in Northumberland. This track, “To The Blade” starts unusually, with a rambling solo vocal, but the huge crescendo/drop at 0:54 takes the song in an amazingly energetic direction.



2) Mark Knopfler - Sailing To Philadelphia
You already know Knopfler, arguably the finest Guitarist the North East has ever produced, as the man behind Dire Straits (Sultans Of Swing) and composer of film score / NUFC anthem Going Home/Local Hero. This hypnotic acoustic ballad refers to “Durham and Northumberland” in verse one, conjures up visions of Northumberland’s scenery, and is a collaboration with Folk legend James Taylor.



3) Tears For Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World
This 1985 hit definitely fits the category of “Forgotten Classics” - revived as a fantastic driving song by Peter Kay’s recent BBC sitcom “Car Share”. The typically huge 80’s drum beat and fluctuating melancholic melodies make this song perfect for our driving playlist.


4) José González - Crosses
José González is an Argentinian-Swedish artist known for his moody, evocative folk songs. “Crosses” is one of his best, with a drivingly rhythmic undercurrent and a reflective vocal that lends itself to looking out the window at the world flashing by


5) New Radicals - You Get What You Give
This one made New Radicals something of a one hit wonder back in 1998. It’s a perfectly constructed pop song with a lot of energy, making it a great driving song and one that’s sure to bring back memories of the late 90’s when for a brief moment, this song was everywhere


6) Al Stewart - Year Of The Cat
Glasgow-born Al Stewart released “Year Of The Cat” in 1976 (and instantly moved to L.A. following its success!) - It demonstrates his great storytelling lyricism and the melodic talents of the band around him. The song manages to simultaneously be upbeat and have an edge of sadness. You’re going to find yourself singing along to this one.


7) Nitin Sawhney - Breathing Light
Nitin Sawhney is a British-Indian composer and producer who has worked with just about everybody, won multiple awards for his film scores, and even originally worked with actor and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar on the concept that later became BBC sketch show Goodness Gracious Me. “Breathing Light” is a beautiful genre-mixing instrumental full of interesting violin, piano and percussion parts.


8) Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Grizzly Bear emerged from Brooklyn, NY in the early-mid 2000’s.  “Two Weeks” is one of their best songs, full of amazing, swelling vocal harmonies that create an epic, scenic soundscape. This is another one well-suited to the more scenic routes, and another one that’ll get you singing along, with some painfully high-pitched (but very fun) Oohs and Aahs. Enjoy!

9) Porcupine Tree - Trains
What starts as an acoustic ballad later becomes another huge soundscape, that won award after award for its surround sound mix in 2002.  This was the first song I thought of for this driving playlist, such is the dynamic of the song (you’ll see what I mean - remember to listen to the spotify playlist). It’s also probably one you’ve not heard of, as Porcupine Tree have remained relatively obscure.


10) Mutual Benefit - Not For Nothing
Disillusioned US banker turned hippy-songwriter Jordan Lee formed Mutual Benefit to realise his Folk music aspirations. “Not For Nothing” is typical of his writing - bare, emotional lyrics, luscious strings arrangements and a reflective mood that is made for a night-time drive.


That concludes my playlist of the Top 10 Alternative Driving Songs. I’d love to hear your own driving playlists so be sure to share them. Happy listening!




About the author:

Alex Bruce runs Bruce Music - Guitar Lessons London.  Bruce Music provide expert, friendly Guitar Teachers to students all over London.  You can find Alex and Bruce Music on Twitter here