Today we are watching…
1. United Continental (#united)
Over the next ten years, more than half of all United’s pilots will retire. That’s a problem. The long-haul airline needs to find new cockpit crews. However, an expensive education, 1,500 hours of required flight time, and the drab entry-level working hours and pay, is putting many off. United could plug the skills gap by forgiving student loans, and it’s managed to rekindle kids’ dreams of being pilots somewhat by offering more money. Competitor Delta asked for volunteers out of the rest of its workforce. The period of unpaid leave, however, to attend flight school, just got laughed at! Investors are watching this situation very closely. Every airline faces the same dearth of pilots, which will affect how these stocks move in the next few years. Stay alert!
2. BMW (#bmw)
Is it just us, or has anyone else noticed how big Minis are getting? Actually, this is a massive problem for BMW! Size matters in the US, with consumers, on the whole, preferring to drive hefty SUVs rather than dinky little hatchbacks. Executives at the German car manufacturer now have to make a difficult decision between doubling down on their diminutive specialty or bulking up to their competitors’ size. After carefully weighing up their options, they’ve decided to dodge the question. Mini will ignore its fundamental quandary for now and get to work on another electric car! Electrification might have come just at the right time for BMW to steal much-needed customers from Chrysler. Plus, the conglomerate is due another ground-breaking electric vehicle. Watch this space!