Ardmore, Inc., manufactures heating and air conditioning units in its six divisions. One division, the Components Division, produces electronic components that can be used by the other five. All the components produced by this division can be sold to outside customers; however, from the beginning, about 70 percent of its output has been used internally. The current policy requires that all internal transfers of components be transferred at full cost.
Recently, Cynthia Busby, the new chief executive officer of Ardmore, decided to investigate
the transfer pricing policy. She was concerned that the current method of pricing internal transfers might force decisions by divisional managers that would be suboptimal for the firm. As part of her inquiry, she gathered some information concerning Part 4CM, used by the Small AC Division in its production of a window air conditioner, Model 7AC. The Small AC Division sells 10,000 units of Model 7AC each year at a unit price of $58. Given current market conditions, this is the maximum price that the division can charge for Model 7AC. The cost of manufacturing the air conditioner is computed as follows:
Part 4CM........ 1$ 6.45
Direct materials...... 23.00
Direct labor....... 15.00
Variable overhead..... 3.50
Fixed overhead....... 6.50
Total unit cost ....... $54.45
The window unit is produced efficiently, and no further reduction in manufacturing costs is
possible. The manager of the Components Division indicated that he could sell 10,000 units (the division’s capacity for this part) of Part 4CM to outside buyers at $12 per unit. The Small AC Division could also buy the part for $12 from external suppliers. The following detail on the manufacturing cost of the component was provided:
1. Compute the firmwide contribution margin associated with Part 4CM and Model 7AC.
Also, compute the contribution margin earned by each division.
2. Suppose that Cynthia Busby abolishes the current transfer pricing policy and gives divisions autonomy in setting transfer prices. Can you predict what transfer price the manager of the Components Division will set? What should be the minimum transfer price for this part? The maximum transfer price?
3. Given the new transfer pricing policy, predict how this will affect the production decision for Model 7AC of the manager of the Small AC Division. How many units of Part 4CM will the manager of the Small AC Division purchase, either internally or externally?
4. Given the new transfer price set by the Components Division and your answer to Require ment 3, how many units of 4CM will be sold externally?