# Your team is assigned to the Gadget Division of The FGM Corporation, the  largest multinational automobile manufacturer in the world. Your team is asked  to evaluate a project proposal regarding the production of a device, DEVICE,  which applies the most advanced artificial intelligence technology to improve  driving safety.

Capital Budgeting Analysis

Group Assignment II

Form a team of THREE (or two) members and select a coordinator for the team.  Take the average of the last digits of team members’ 8-digit UMIDs and use the  average as your team’s discount rate factor for the analysis. For example, if  the three UMIDs’ last digits are, respectively, 0, 6 and 8, then your team’s discount rate factor will be (0+6+8)/3=4.67%. For your team, the REAL discount rate for the project is set at (8% + your team’s discount rate  factor), compounded daily. For instance, in this example the team’s discount  rate factor is 4.67%, the team’s REAL discount rate will be 8% + 4.67% =  12.67%, compounded daily.

Our team: 0 +3+2 = 5/2=2.5% Team’s Discount Rate Factor

Real Discount Rate: 2.5+8= 10.5% compounded daily

Your team is assigned to the Gadget Division of The FGM Corporation, the  largest multinational automobile manufacturer in the world. Your team is asked  to evaluate a project proposal regarding the production of a device, DEVICE,  which applies the most advanced artificial intelligence technology to improve  driving safety. This upgradeable built-in device gives warnings to drivers and  assist them to stay in lane and avoid collision. The DEVICE will be marketed as  an optional feature for FGM cars and trucks. A 2-year comprehensive market  analysis on the potential demand for this device was conducted and completed last year at a cost of \$10M, where M is for millions.

From the comprehensive market analysis, your team expects annual sales volume  of DEVICE to be 6.0M units for the first year and will decrease by 5% and 10%,  respectively, in the following two years. The unit price of the device is \$895 (expressed in constant t=0 dollar, i.e., in real term). Due to the introduction of  similar products by competitors at the end of Year 3, the expected annual sale  volume will drop to 3.5M units and the unit price is expected to fall to \$700 (expressed in constant t=0 dollar, i.e., in real term) in the years following the  introduction of the competitive products. Unit production costs are estimated at  \$800 (expressed in constant t=0 dollar, i.e., in real term) at the beginning of the  project, and will not be impacted by the change in competition. Annual nominal growth rates for unit prices and unit production costs are expected to be 2.0%  and 3.0%, respectively, over the life of the project.

In addition, the implementation of the project demands current assets to be set at  18% of the annual sale revenues, and current liabilities to be set at 14% of the  annual production costs. Besides, the introduction of DEVICE will increase the  sales volume of cars and trucks that leads to an increase in the annual after-tax

operating cash flow of FGM by \$35M (expressed in constant t=0 dollar, i.e., in  real term) for the first three years, and \$20M (expressed in constant t=0 dollar,  i.e., in real term) afterwards.

The production line for DEVICE will be set up in a vacant plant site (land) purchased by FGM at a cost of 30M twenty years ago. This vacant plant site has  a current market value of \$45M, and is expected to be sold at the termination of  this project for \$52M in five years. The machinery for producing DEVICE has an  invoice price of \$475M, and its customization costs another \$50M for meeting the  specifications for the project. The machinery has an economic life of five years,  and is classified in the MACR 7-year asset class for depreciation purposes. The  sale price of the machinery at the termination of the project is expected to be  25% of its initial invoice price.

The corporate handbook of The FGM Corporation states that corporate overhead  costs should be reflected in project analyses at the rate of 5% of the book value  of assets. Corporate overhead costs are not expected to change with the  acceptance of this project. However, financial analysts at the Headquarters  believe that every project should bear its fair share of the corporate overhead  burden. On the other hand, the Director of the Gadget Division disagrees with this view and believes that the corporate overhead costs should be left out of the  analysis.

The marginal tax rate of The FGM Corporation is 21%. And any tax loss from  this project can be used to write off taxable income of The FGM Corporation. The general inflation rate is 2.4%.

Question 1:

1. In light of the appropriate objective of a firm, what would be your recommendation on the DEVICE Project based on the (base) scenario described above? Why?
2. Would your recommendation be changed if the unit price of DEVICE only falls to \$745 (expressed in constant t=0 dollar, i.e., in real term) upon the entrance of competitive products after three years into this project, i.e., the  optimistic scenario? What would be your recommendation if the unit price  falls to \$650 (expressed in constant t=0 dollar, i.e., in real term) after three years, i.e., the pessimistic scenario? Why?

1. In light of the appropriate objective of a firm, what should be your recommendation on the Project if there is 60% chance that the base scenario (as described in the introductory section) will occur, 18% chance  that the optimistic scenario (as described in Q1B above) will occur, and  22% chance that the pessimistic scenario (as described in Q1B above) will  occur? Why?
2. Now your team completed the above analysis and presented your recommendation on the DEVICE Project based on the correct capital budgeting decision rule. The project manager, who is a senior engineer  with no training in financial analysis, asks your team to base your  recommendation on the (pure) payback period rule instead. In response,  your team goes back to calculate the payback period for each of the three  scenarios discussed above. What is your team’s recommendation on the  Project under each scenario? Use your analysis to explain precisely (in a  convincing manner) to the project manager why the payback period rule  should not be used for decision making on the DEVICE Project. And why  your team’s choice of capital budgeting method should be used instead!

Question 2: A potential solution to combat the competition is to regain the  competitive edge by upgrading the DEVICE via upgrading the  machinery and software technology at the end of the third year for a nominal cost of \$300M. Assume that this upgrade is fully depreciated over its 2-year life according to the straight-line depreciation method, and it has zero value at the termination of the  project. The upgraded DEVICE can be sold at \$750 (expressed in  constant t=0 dollar, i.e., in real terms) apiece. Would you recommend the upgrade of the machinery and the product? What  is the value of this option to upgrade (relative to the base scenario)?

Question 3: An alternative solution is to back out from the DEVICE Project at  the end of the third year for a NOMINAL penalty of \$175M. Besides, the machinery will have a zero market value if the project  is abandoned. And the plant site is estimated to be priced at \$48M.  Would you recommend the abandonment of the project? What is  the value of this option to abandon (relative to the base scenario)?

Question 4: Since this is a major project for the Gadget Division, the Division  Director is greatly concerned about the riskiness of this Project.  Your team is asked to determine the MINIMUM unit price (expressed in constant t=0 dollar, i.e., in real terms) for DEVICE  such that the Project will be acceptable according to the conceptually most correct capital budgeting method, basing on the  information given in the base scenario.(Hint: Learn to use the Goal Seek function on Excel to solve for the  minimum unit price!)

Question 6: In anticipation of tightening government regulations that aim at  mitigating adverse environmental impacts of business operations in  the U.S., your team speculates that there would be an

environmental surcharge equivalent to 0.5% of the annual production costs applicable to the DEVICE Project. Hence, you  redo the analysis in Q1C with the inclusion of the proposed environmental surcharge. What would be your recommendation on  the DEVICE Project after accounting for the possible financial  consequence of its environmental impact? If a green technology  could help you eliminate the environmental impact of the Project  and hence the corresponding environmental surcharge, what  should be the maximum amount to be invested in this green technology for the Project?

Your team is required to turn in a report (in Word or PDF format) that addresses the six questions in this case. In addition, I expect your  group to use Excel spreadsheet for your analysis, and submit your  Excel spreadsheet along with your report for my grading. Besides,  you are required to do your analysis in NOMINAL term, and  apply symmetry tax treatment on any gain or loss in operations  and asset transactions!