Cash Flow and Capital Budgeting Minicase

ACE Rental Cars, Incorporated (ACE) is analyzing whether to enter the discount used rental car market. This project would involve the purchase of 100 used, late-model, mid-sized automobiles at the price of $9,500 each. In order to reduce their insurance costs, ACE will have a LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System installed in each automobile at a cost of $1,000 per vehicle. ACE will also utilize one of their abandoned lots to store the vehicles. If ACE does not undertake this project they could sublease this lot to an auto repair company for $80,000 per year. THe $20,000 annual maintenance cost on this lot will be paid by ACE whether the lot is subleased or used for this project. IN addition, if this project is undertaken, net working capital will increase by $50,000.
The automobiles will qualify as a 3-year class asset under the mondified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS). Each car is expected to generate $4,800 a year in revenue and have operating costs of $1,000 per year, Starting 4 years form now, one-quarter of the fleet is expected to be replaced every year with a similar fleet of used cars. This is expected to result in a net cash flow (including acquistion costs) of $100,000 per year continuing infefinitely. This discount rental car business is expected to have aminimum impact on ACE’s regular rental car business where the net cash flow is expected to fall by only $25,000 per year ACE expects to have a marginal tax rate of 32%.

Based on this information, answer the following questions.

1. What is the initial cash flow (fixed asset expenditure) for this discount used rental car project?

2. Is the cost of installing the LoJack System relevant to this analysis?

3. Are the maintenance costs relevant?

4. Should you consider the change in net working capital?

5. Estimate the depreciation costs incurred for each of the next 4 years.

6. Estimate the net cash flow for each of the next 4 years.

7. How are possible cannibalization costs considered in this analysis?

8. How does the opportunity to sublease the lot affect this analysis?

9. What do you estimate as the terminal value of this project at the end of
year 4 (use a 12% discount rate for this calculation)

10. Using the standard discount rate of 12% that ACE uses for capital
budgeting, what is the NPV of this project? If ACE adjusts the discount
rate to 14% to reflect higher project risk, what is the NPV?

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