Afternoon Coffee: Detroit’s Bet on China Sours; UK Signs WTO Procurement Deal for after Brexit

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U.S. automakers once flocked to China, which offered plenty of buyers and cheap labor, but now things are changing there. The New York Times looks at the shifting landscape in China and how the plans for Chrysler, Ford and GM are starting to sour, the Times says.

“Chinese consumers are buying fewer cars as the country’s economy slows. Local competitors have raised their game. Many young people would rather use ride-sharing services similar to Uber than own vehicles themselves.” the Times says.

After Brexit, Public Sector Deal is Set

Britain inked a public sector procurement deal Wednesday with the World Trade Organization that gives it some trade continuity once it leaves the European Union in the Brexit saga, the Associated Press reports.

“The agreement allows Britain to retain its place among the 47 WTO countries that are involved in the Government Procurement Agreement,” the AP reports. “The EU’s 28 member nations belong as a single entity, so the bidding agreement’s participating countries signed off on allowing Britain to join as an independent party to the pact.”

The Brexit deadline is at the end of March, but a series of Parliament votes, which begin March 12, could delay that.

Bonfire Honored for Customer Service

Procurement software provider Bonfire received a Stevie Award for customer service and one for the people’s choice award.

Bonfire, a provider of strategic sourcing software based in Canada, was in the category for firms with fewer than 100 employees.

The Stevie Awards were created in 2002 to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide, the awards group says.

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