Jaguar is clawing out a share of the fast-growing car market in Russia, figures from the West Midland manufacturer showed yesterday.
And it is the entry-level X-Type (pictured), the model that Jaguar's owner, Ford, hoped would boost its sales volumes in western markets, that is leading the charge.
Overall sales of X-Type, which is built at the highly rated Halewood plant on Merseyside, have disappointed since it was launched in 2000.
The question of whether Jaguar will maintain a four-model line-up when the "baby Jag" comes to the end of its life is currently being debated in the higher echelons of Premier Automotive Group, Ford's stable of luxury European Brands in which Jaguar sits alongside Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo.
However, buyers in the nascent Russian market are snapping up the X-Type.
When the car appeared there in 2004 just 42 units were sold. Sales rose to 328 last year and Jaguar expects a figure of about 600 in 2006.
So far this year Jaguar has sold a total of 406 cars in Russia - 55 XJs, 68 S-Types, 251 X-Types and 32 XKs. Sales in June totalled 113 cars, a rise of 126 per cent over the same month last year, which in itself was a record. Year to date sales are 110 per cent up.
"X-Type is establishing our brand in Russia and bringing new Jaguar customers to our dealer partners," a spokesman said.
Jaguar is gradually breaking out of its traditional markets of Britain and the United States and taking advantage of the growing appetite for for luxury brand cars in emerging markets such as South Africa and Asia Pacific as well as Russia.
June also saw record sales in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Turkey, Poland, Cyprus, Korea, Oman and Panama.
"We will continue to sell X-Type in markets like these where it is both profitable and very attractive to a wide range of customers."
The trend is particularly good news to Jaguar executives fighting to end years of multi-million pound losses because favourable exchange rates and other factors mean that every X-Type sold in one of its new markets yields five times the revenue than in the USA.
Jaguar global managing director Bibiana Boerio said: "A smaller, more focused Jaguar is where we are heading."