Survival Strategies From Mexico's Front Lines

The economic crisis radically altered Mexico's business environment. With credit rates nearing three figures, the domestic market suddenly dried up. Companies had to come up with survival strategies fast.

Here is how three very different companies cope. Ford, Mexico's leading carmaker, is boosting exports and offering a cheaper line to beleaguered Mexican consumers. Ilusin, a family-owned lingerie maker with a solid name, is taking its first steps across the U.S. border. Mercantil Probursa, Mexico's 10th largest bank, was so shaken by bad debts that its best option was to yield control to a Spanish bank. These three companies, like thousands of others, will emerge changed from this year's crisis. It's one positive consequence of the downturn and a sign that Mexico still has potential.