Rajarhat, the new motown of Calcutta
New Town: Rajarhat is becoming the new motown of the city with major dealers opening state-of-the-art facilities.
The motown is adjacent to Ecopark in Action Area II of New Town, with sprawling outlets of Eastern Honda, Lexus Motors, Renault, Hyundai and Maruti. The latest in line is the Jaguar Land Rover showroom in the auto mall.
The state government allotted seven acres to auto dealers in 2006.
"Each of the dealers received an acre each," Vinod Agarwal of Lexus Motors, who has shifted his premium dealership Jaguar Land Rover from AJC Bose Road to the auto mall in New Town, said.
Agarwal, who runs a Renault and the Tata Motors passenger cars and commercial vehicles dealerships in the city, has set aside space for all the three in the mall.
Bengal Hyundai has taken up another portion of the auto mall, while the Maruti Regional Office, which is currently on Camac Street, is due to shift to the new address at Rajarhat some time soon.
It will have a Volvo dealership, along with Austin, the oldest dealership in the city, as neighbours.
Toyota, BMW, Kia Motors are apparently looking at motown addresses.
Much like its Vasant Kunj headquarters in Delhi, Maruti will have its regional office in New Town with the display area in the building.
"It's a four-storey building with a lot of space. Some floors will be reserved display our cars. We will shift there some time soon," a Maruti source said.
One of the city dealers said the average space for a showroom is not more than 15,000sq ft. Here, there would be much more space with more cars on display.
Sanjay Patodia of Austin is now busy completing Austin Towers, a building with 1,26,000sq ft carpet area. "I have not yet decided which dealerships will be housed there," Patodia who has automobile sales outlets in Chowringhee, Patuli, Baruipur and Howrah said.
Asked about the footfall in Rajarhat, Patodia, a seasoned player in the auto sector, said: "Once Rajarhat develops fully, people will come in. It will get customers from VIP Road, Jessore Road, too."
Agarwal has already experienced a rise in footfall in his showrooms.
"There is so much space here with test drive facilities and everything. It is difficult to run dealerships in the heart of the city," Agarwal said.
The state-of-the-art JLR showroom is spread over more than 20,000sq m with 11 cars on display.
"The entire range of Jaguar and Land Rover models are on display here," he said.