Sales of the attractive and modern XF sedan along with new confidence in the brand's future are the driving forces behind Jaguar's first sales rise since July 2006 as Jaguar and sister company Land Rover change hands to new owner Tata Motors. The company sees a strong year of continued sales on the strength of pre-orders and the promise of new models and a clear direction.

The sales gain was particularly strong in Europe, where Jaguar gained 70% over April 2007, up to 4,047 from 2,386, reports Automotive News. UK demand rose by 85% in April, an important measure in Jagaur's biggest single market. More and more indicators are showing just what a good deal Tata Motors got when it purchased Jaguar and Land Rover for $2.3 billion this year.

Already Tata has released information showing Land Rover is profitable, and has hinted in the past that Jaguar would soon turn things around - though few suspected the company could do it so quickly. The future at Jaguar looks strong as well, with 18,000 orders already in the books for the XF. That many orders has production at maximum to meet the demand.

However, despite Jaguar's rise, Land Rover sales in Europe dropped nearly 15% compared to April of last year, and the brand is down nearly 13% for the year so far. The company is nevertheless confident it will continue its growth of last three years, according to a Land Rover spokesman.

Jaguar XF