Mazda sales in Russia increased to 17,094 cars in January-March from 9,497 units in the same period of last year, the company said in a statement.

The most popular models were the Mazda 3 with 9,763 cars sold, and the Mazda 6 with 4,388 cars sold.

Mazda also sells Mazda 5, Mazda MX5 and Mazda RX8 cars and Mazda B-Series pickup trucks in Russia.

The company plans to sell over 75,000 vehicles in Russia in 2008.

The Russian market continues to expand strongly this year on the back of an energy sector boom.