Mazda Motor will begin Vietnamese assembly of the 6, marking the first output of the midsize line in southeast Asia.

Output is slated to begin next summer at a factory of local production and sales partner Vina Mazda. Major parts will be shipped from Japan for assembly at the plant which will build several hundred cars a year at first.

The automaker now produces mainly the 2 and other subcompacts in the country. It plans to boost sales in ASEAN member states by about 50% to 150,000 units by fiscal 2015.

While subcompacts are popular in ASEAN markets, Mazda believes consumers will start to prefer sedans and sport utility vehicles as their incomes rise.