After zero sales in April, auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) posted steep decline 79 per cent decline in total sales at 9,560 units in May. The company had sold 45,521 units in the same month last year.

“In the domestic market, sales were down 79 per cent to 9,076 units last month compared to 43,056 units in May 2019. Exports during the period under consideration dropped by 80 per cent to 484 units as against 2,365 units in the year-ago month.

In the passenger vehicles segment, which includes UVs, cars and vans, M&M sold 3,867 vehicles in May, against 20,608 vehicles in the same month last year, down 81 per cent.

In the commercial vehicles segment, the company sold 5,170 vehicles as against 17,879 units earlier, a dip of 71 per cent.

“Our performance during May has been muted, due to the challenges the industry is facing,” Veejay Ram Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, M&M Ltd said.

“We have opened 70% of our dealerships and retail sales have begun,” he adding that the company “is seeing initial traction for our small commercial vehicles and SUV brands such as the Bolero and Scorpio.”

As new lockdown norms are being announced we are hopeful of demand gaining traction in the coming months,” Nakra said.

On the farming side, the company sold 24,017 tractors last month, or 2% more than the 23,539 units sold in the same month las year. The exports, however, fell 72% to just 324 units.

“The timely relaxation of the lockdown for the agricultural sector helped ensure the speedy recovery of tractor demand during May,” Hemant Sikka, president-farm equipment sector at Mahindra and Mahindra, said in a statement.

Sikka believes that the sales will grow eventually in the coming months.

The manufacturer and its peers had shut all their operations including factories and showrooms, due to the nationwide lockdown that came into action from March 25.