The Indian auto industry has been bearing the brunt of the deterrent downturn in sales for over a year now. The slowdown has taken a toll on the festive season sales as well which generally is high octane period for automakers in terms of sales. In October 2019, Mahindra & Mahindra has recorded a 23 per cent year-on-year decline in sales at 18,460 units as compared to 24,066 units which were sold a year ago. Sales of utility vehicles went down by 20 per cent at 17,785 units as compared to 22,279 units which were sold in the same month last year while sales on passenger cars went down by 62 per cent at 675 units as compared to 1,787 units a year ago.
Commenting on the performance, Veejay Ram Nakra, Chief of Sales and Marketing, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra said, "The festive month of October 2019 was excellent for Mahindra, with retail volume exceeding wholesale by approximately 40%. This robust retail performance was contributed by both passenger & commercial vehicles. Further, our billing numbers are in line with what we had planned for the month, since the objective was to significantly correct our channel inventory. We hope to see the positive consumer sentiment continue going forward."
Though Mahindra's retail sales have been good during the festive month and probably would reflect in next month's wholesale, it's a common practice in the auto industry to keep the wholesale high during the entire festive season in a bid to keep up with the demand. Just to give you a perspective of how adversely sales have been affected due to the prolonged slowdown, Mahindra recorded a growth of 17 per cent in the month of Diwali last year. In November 2018, the carmaker sold 45,101 vehicles compared to 38,570 which were sold in November 2017. In the same month, its total domestic sales saw a growth of 15 per cent, while exports went up by 40 per cent with 3,537 units, compared to the 2,531 units exported in November 2017.