|England cricket captain, Paul Collingwood, and Pulman SEAT Franchise Manager, Chris Slater, help unveil a mint condition SEAT Ibiza Mk1 – one of the very first SEAT models launched in the UK 25 years ago.|
More than 150 people gathered at a Sunderland car dealership on Thursday evening for an exciting double celebration.
The dealership formerly known as Alexandra Bridge Cars – one of the oldest SEAT dealers in the country – hosted the lavish bash to mark 25 years with the sporty Spanish brand and, more importantly, becoming part of the Pulman family.
Now known as Pulman SEAT, the Southwick car retailer pulled out all the stops to deliver an action-packed evening of entertainment for the assembled customers and VIP guests.
Top local band The Longsands provided the soundtrack to the evening as the guests enjoyed authentic Spanish cuisine and wine and the chance to look over current SEAT models as well as a Leon touring car driven by Tom Boardman and a mint condition Mk1 Ibiza which was among the first cars launched by SEAT in the UK.
Then came the highlight of the evening – a lively question and answer session with England cricket captain and local lad, Paul Collingwood.
Finally, a raffle was drawn with the winners picking up an iPod Touch and tickets to see comedian Peter Kay on stage. The raffle itself raised almost £200 for the dealership’s chosen charity NSPCC.
Speaking afterwards, Pulman SEAT Franchise Manager, Chris Slater, said: ‘This was a great occasion for the dealership and we were absolutely delighted that so many people, including lots of our long-standing and valued customers, were able to join us.
‘Firstly, we wanted to celebrate the fact that we were among the handful of dealerships that helped launched SEAT UK a quarter of a century ago and have played an important role in helping to make the thriving brand the enormous success it is today.
‘We also hope everyone left with the impression that things will be even better now we’re part of Pulman which has grown to become one of the very best Volkswagen franchises in the country thanks to its out and out commitment to delivering a fantastic customer experience.’
SEAT UK Director, Peter Wyhinny, was keen to pay tribute to the team at its long established Sunderland outlet and the handful of other original SEAT dealers that helped bring the brand to the UK.
He said: ‘Launching a new brand into a fiercely competitive market place is never easy, but that small initial group of professional and enthusiastic dealers helped SEAT UK hit the ground running and build real momentum.
‘The skill, experience and contacts of the original dealers were obviously instrumental in allowing the company to get a foothold, build sales and grow the network.
‘Today, as a thriving and well-established marque, it’s wonderful to see members of that original group still with us and going strong.
‘The future looks very bright for Pulman SEAT, SEAT UK and SEAT customers in the North East.’