VIENNA – German premium automakers Daimler, Audi and Porsche are increasing their output in East European countries.

Daimler is particularly active in expanding its manufacturing footprint in the region. The company last month announced plans to establish a second plant at its Hungarian site in Kecskemet for the production of front- and rear-wheel-drive cars.

“In the next few years, we plan to invest around €1 billion ($1.13 billion) in building a new plant at our site in Kecskemet,” Markus Schäfer, member of the divisional board for production and supply chain management, Mercedes-Benz Cars, says in a prepared statement.

“We will establish a state-of-the-art and efficient production facility, in which different vehicle architectures will roll off the assembly-line flexibly.”

“The site will gain additional manufacturing competence for rear-wheel-drive vehicles,” adds Rainer Ruess, head of production planning for Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The second plant in Kecskemet will have a body shop, a paint shop, a final assembly and a supplier park.

According to Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the capacity of the new facility will be 150,000 cars per year.

Preparations will start this year and the start of production is planned “for the end of the decade,” Daimler says. The investment will create about 2,500 new jobs at the site.

Volume production at the Daimler plant in Kecskemet was launched in March 2012. It employs more than 4,000 people and manufactured 180,000 Mercedes-Benz compact vehicles in 2015. Mercedes-Benz B-Class, CLA Coupe and CLA Shooting Brake are made in Hungary. Both CLA models are produced exclusively in Kecskemet for global customers. The new car plant is the second investment in Kecskemet announced by Daimler this year.

In April, the company broke ground for a new €250 million ($282 million) body shop at the existing plant. It is a part of an investment of about €580 million ($654 million) in the expansion of capacity and the technological upgrade of the existing facility for the production of the next generation of compact cars.

Other parts of the existing plant also will be expanded as part of the total investment. The production line will undergo adjustments and use robots for surface treatment. In the final-assembly section for the next generation of compact vehicles, materials will be brought to the assembly line in pre-picked baskets of goods. This will be done completely autonomously by driverless transport vehicles with prepared baskets of components from the logistics and picking zones.