Pulman are celebrating our 25th Anniversary, delivering a fantastic customer experience since 1998 across the North East. We want to say a BIG thank you to all our fantastic customers, partners, suppliers and staff who make Pulman Group what we are today.
A lot has happened since Mike Pulman opened his first Durham Volkswagen showroom 25 years ago. Starting with only 17 employees and one location representing one Volkswagen Group Brand. Fast forward to 2023 and we now have over 260 people working and being part of the Pulman family. With five locations from Cramlington in the North of the region to Durham and Sunderland, Pulman represents six Volkswagen Group Brands delivering a fantastic customer experience.
It took two years for our flagship showroom to be built. Finally, in 2000 Pulman Volkswagen moved to our now Head Office location, Abbey Road, Durham, where we employ over 85 members of staff. From humble beginnings, this flagship site was the first retailer in the UK to have a Café located in their showroom.
“Compared to the size of where we first started to where we are now is an unbelievable achievement for the whole group. Going from a 5 to a 10-car showroom in a short time, growing to what we are now is fantastic.” – Keith Ramshaw, Volkswagen Sales Manager
In 2014 Pulman launched our first Škoda retailer in Durham starting with a 4-car pop up showroom beside Pulman Volkswagen. We shared Volkswagen’s used car display and workshop facilities. Two years later in 2016, Pulman Škoda Belmont was launched with a state-of-the-art purpose build showroom including Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and another Pulman Café.
The Pulman Café has now expanded into both Pulman Durham locations, available within the Volkswagen and Škoda showrooms. Providing freshly made breakfast, lunch and takeaways as well as offering complimentary drinks and snacks to customers. It truly adds that extra atmosphere and experience that you don’t usually find in a car showroom.
Pulman opened a second Volkswagen showroom located on Newcastle Road, Sunderland in 2008, acquiring the then Mill Garages Volkswagen site at Fulwell Mill. In 2014 we expanded to become a Škoda authorised service repairer. In 2021, we launched our first Škoda showroom in Sunderland, operating out of the same Newcastle Road location we now represent Volkswagen and Škoda, offering an even better choice for customers.
Pulman are uniquely the only family-run Volkswagen retailer in the North East. Launching our SEAT showroom in Sunderland in August 2010, formerly known as Alexandra Bridge Cars, one of the oldest SEAT dealers in the country, we are among the handful of dealerships that helped launch SEAT in the UK over 30 years ago.
“All of the sites we’ve added to the Pulman family have all brought their own individual touches and feelings to the business, but our core values have always been the same.” – Chris Slater, Commercial Director.
In 2020 SEAT’s performance Brand CUPRA separated and became stand-alone. Pulman jumped on the chance to represent CUPRA and launched the CUPRA Garage alongside SEAT. In 2022, it underwent a full refurbishment. Since launch, CUPRA has developed CUPRA only models such as the Formentor and the fully electric Born.
In 2020 Pulman acquired their third location in Cramlington, launching the Pulman Brand for the first time North of the Tyne. 2020 also saw the launch of Rent-A-Car, based across Durham, Sunderland and Cramlington, offering Pulman customers flexible rentals on Volkswagen, Škoda, SEAT and CUPRA cars.
A lot has certainly happened over the last 25 years. Ian Buckle, Managing Director of Pulman Group said:-
“This year we are celebrating 25 years of serving our customers across the North East. What makes us different from other car retailers is the fact that we are one big Pulman family. We give our amazing employees the chance to grow and develop and deliver that fantastic customer experience that is at the heart of everything we do. I would like to say a big thank you to all our fantastic customers, amazing employees and everyone who has supported us for the last 25 years, we’re looking forward to the next 25 years.”
Mike Pulman couldn’t agree with Ian more and said:-
“What makes us different is that we’re a privately owned company with a fantastic team of people, “the Pulman family”. Looking ahead, I’m sure there will be more opportunities to see growth throughout the business.”
Learn more about Pulman Group by visiting one of their five locations across the North East or online at www.pulmangroup.co.uk