Great Deal! Get Instant $10 FREE in Account on First Order + 10% Cashback on Every Order Order Now

Chapter 13: Cost Planning for the Product-Life Cycle Allegro Automotive The automotive industry has been beset with various challenges and Allegro Automotive(AA) headquartered in Italy was...

1 answer below »
Chapter 13: Cost Planning for the Product-Life Cycle
Allegro Automotive
The automotive industry has been beset with various challenges and Allegro Automotive(AA)
headquartered in Italy was experiencing the same impact on its line of electric vehicles. AA struggled
with product development, cost efficiency, materials purchasing and problems in adapting to changing
markets. In 2017, these problems caused the worst sales slump in decades and the luxury car maker
lost money for the first time in history. Since then, AA has streamlined the core business, reduced parts
and system complexity and established simultaneous engineering programs with suppliers.
In their search for additional market share, new segments, and new niches, AA started developing a
ange of new products. New product introductions included a variety of vehicles, most of these being
electric. Perhaps the largest and most radical of AA’s new projects was the Co
ere. In 2017, AA
announced that it would build its first passenger vehicle-manufacturing facility in the United States.
The decision emphasized the company’s globalization strategy and desire to move closer to its
customers and markets. The United States recently enacted legislation which provided significant tax
enefits for the development of alternative fuel vehicles as part of the Make America Great Again Tax
Act of 2017.
AA used function groups with representatives from every area of the company (marketing,
development, engineering, purchasing, production and controlling) to design the vehicle and production
systems. A modular construction process was used to product the Co
ere. First-tier suppliers provided
systems rather than individual parts or components for production of approximately 65,000 vehicles
annually.
The Co
ere Project Phases
The Co
ere moved from concept to production in a relatively short period of time. The first phase, the
concept phase was initiated in XXXXXXXXXXThe concept phase resulted in a feasibility study that was
approved by the board. Following board approval, the project realization phase began in 2017, with
production commencing shortly after. Key elements of the various phases are described next.
Concept Phase
Team members compared the existing production line with various market segments to discover
opportunities for new vehicle introductions. The analysis revealed opportunities in the rapidly
expanding luxury sedan area that was dominated by Tesla, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Market research
was conducted to estimate potential worldwide sales opportunities for a high-end sedan. A rough
estimate was developed that included materials, labor, overhead and one-time development and
project costs. Projected cash flows were analyzed over a 10-year period using net-present value (NPV)
analysis to acquire project approval from the board of directors. The sensitivity of the NPV was analyzed
y calculating “what-if” scenarios involving risks and opportunities. For example, risk factors included
monetary exchange rate fluctuations, different sales levels due to consumer substitution of the Co
ere
for another AA product and product and manufacturing costs that differed from projections.
Based on the economic feasibility study of the concept phase, the board approved the project and
initiated a search for potential manufacturing locations. Site located in Italy, Europe and in the United
States were evaluated. Consistent with the company’s globalization strategy, the decisive factor that
ought the plant to the United States was the desire to be close to the major market for the luxury
vehicle and the favorable tax codes.
Project Realization Phase, XXXXXXXXXX
Regular customer clinics were held to view the prototype and to explain the new vehicle concept. These
clinics produced important information about how the proposed vehicle would be received by potential
customers and the press. Customers were asked to rank the importance of various characteristics,
including safety, comfort, economy and styling. Engineers organized in function groups designed
systems to deliver these essential characteristics. However, AA would not lower its internal standards
for components, even if initial customer expectations might be lower than the AA standard. For
example, many automotive experts believed that the superior handling of AA products resulted from
manufacturing the best automobile chassis in the world. Thus, each class within the AA line met strict
standards for handling, even though these standards might exceed customer expectations in some
classes. AA did not use target costing to produce the lowest price vehicle in an automotive class. The
company’s strategic objective was to deliver products that were slightly more expensive than
competitive models. However, the additional cost would have to translate into greater perceived value
on the part of the customer.
Throughout the product realization phase, the vehicle (and vehicle target cost) remained alive because
of changing dynamics. For example, the market moved toward the luxury end of the spectrum while the
Co
ere was in development. In addition, crash test results were incorporated into the evolving Co
ere
design. For these reasons, AA found it beneficial to place the design and testing team members in close
proximity to other functions within the project to promote fast communication and decision making.
Sometimes new technical features were developed by AA. The decision to include the new feature on
all AA lines was made at the corporate level because experience had shown that customers; reactions to
a vehicle class can affect the entire
and.
Production Phase, 2019
The project was monitored by annual updates of the NPV analysis. In addition, a three-year plan
(including income statements) was prepared annually and reported to the headquarters in Italy.
Monthly department meetings were held to discuss actual cost performance compared with standards
developed during the cost estimation phase. Thus, the accounting system served as a control
mechanism to ensure that actual production costs would conform to target costs.
The Co
ere manufacturing process relied on high-value-added system suppliers. For example, the
entire cockpit was purchased as a unit from a systems supplier. Thus, systems suppliers were part of the
development process from the beginning of the project. AA expected suppliers to meet established cost
targets. To em
ace function group effectiveness, suppliers were
ought into the discussion at an early
stage. Decisions had to be made quickly in the early stages of development.
The target costing process was led by cost planners who were engineers, not accountants. Because cost
planners were engineers with manufacturing and design experience, they make reasonable estimates of
costs that suppliers would incur in providing systems. Also, AA owned much of the tooling, such as dies
to form sheet metal, used by suppliers to produce components. Tooling costs are a substantial part of
the one-time costs in the project phase.
Target Costing and the Co
ere
The process of achieving target cost for the Co
ere began with an estimate of the existing cost for each
function group. Next, components of each function group were identified with their associated costs.
Cost reduction targets were set by comparing the estimated existing cost with the target cost for each
function group. These function groups included the following: doors, sidewall and roof, electrical
system, bumpers, power train, seats, heating system, cockpit and front end. Next cost reduction targets
were established for each component. As part of the competitive benchmark process, AA bought and
tore down competitors’ vehicles to help understand their costs and manufacturing process.
The Co
ere manufacturing process relied on high-value-added systems suppliers. For example, the
entire cockpit was purchased as a unit from a systems supplier. Thus, systems suppliers were part of the
development process from the beginning of the project. AA expected supplier to meet established cost
targets. To enhance function group effectiveness, suppliers were
ought into the discussion at an early
stage.
The target costing process was led by cost planners who were engineers, not accountants. Because the
cost planners were engineers with manufacturing experience, they could make reasonable estimates of
costs that suppliers would incur in providing various systems. Also, AA owned much of the tooling such
as dies to form sheet metal, used by suppliers to produce components. Tooling costs are a substantial
part of the one-time costs of the project phase.
Index Development to Support Target Costing Activities
During the concept development phase, AA team members used various indexes to help them
determine critical performance, design and cost relationships for the Co
ere. To construct the indexes,
various forms of information were gathered from customers, suppliers and their own design team. For
purposes of this problem, the number of categories has been simplified. For example, values shown in
the “Importance” column resulted from asking a sample of potential customers whether they consider
each category extremely important when considering the purchase of a new AA product. See table 1
elow:
Table 1
Category Importance Relative Percentage
Safety 140 28
Comfort and
convenience 120 24
Economy 10 2
Styling 60 12
Performance 170 34
Total XXXXXXXXXX


To gain a better understanding of the various sources of costs, function groups were identified together
with target cost estimates. Table 2 demonstrates the relative target cost of each function group as
computed
Table 2
Function Group Target Cost Percentage of Total
Chassis $ XXXXXXXXXX,000 XXXXXXXXXX19
Transmission XXXXXXXXXX,000 XXXXXXXXXX4
Air conditioner XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX3
Electrical system XXXXXXXXXX,000
Answered Same Day Jul 19, 2021

Solution

Sumit answered on Jul 20 2021
143 Votes
Sheet1
    Table 1:
        Category     Importance    Relative Percentage
        Safety     140    0.28
        Comfort and convenience    120    0.24
        Economy    10    0.02
        Styling    60    0.12
        Performance     170    0.34
        Total    500    1
    Table 2:
        Function    Target Cost     Percenatge
        Chassis    5000    0.19
        Transmission    1000    0.04
        Air conditioner    700    0.03
        Electrical...
SOLUTION.PDF

Answer To This Question Is Available To Download

Related Questions & Answers

More Questions »

Submit New Assignment

Copy and Paste Your Assignment Here