Mexico's low costs and extensive global trade agreements have helped make it one of the world's top auto-producing nations as automakers and suppliers have rushed to build plants south of the U.S. border.
But the effects of that boom are complicating the process of planning, building and ramping up plants for manufacturers that are just joining the rush.
Many construction companies that are active in Mexico and specialize in auto plants have more business than they can handle. Workers -- both for construction projects and for production jobs -- are harder to retain as new opportunities open up to them. Utilities, rail lines and ports are facing more demands than ever.
"We are seeing it," said Stefan Sommer, CEO of German supplier ZF Friedrichshafen, which operates a string of Mexican plants that make parts including powertrain, chassis, steering and seat belt components. "You have to fight for resources now."
Mexico has had several waves of expansion in auto production. Ford, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors and Volkswagen have long had assembly and parts plants there and are expanding capacity in the country. Honda and Mazda opened plants in the past couple of years.
Another five vehicle plants -- built by BMW, Toyota, Hyundai-Kia, Audi and a joint venture of Nissan and Daimler -- are under construction or nearing start of production.
Many Tier 1 suppliers in Mexico are expanding to keep pace with their customers. Canada's Magna International, for example, late last year opened its 28th Mexican plant, a seating factory in Allende, near the Texas border.