1. How is Tesla different from a traditional motor manufacturer not just in terms of product but sales process to customers, manufacturing process, improvements in model or any other area you observe? What do you think if any are the strengths/weaknesses of Tesla as a business?

2. Inventory:

Examine the data on days inventory for Tesla for 2018 and 2019 in the spreadsheet/worksheet available for download. (Calculations have been completed for you for ease of reference).

What information can you learn from days inventory? Does it make sense to separate out service parts from other types of inventory? Why?

Looking at the data and spreadsheet, how well do you think Tesla is managing its inventory? What trends and patterns stand out to you if any?

We can see from the decomposition that raw materials, WIP and service parts increased for the year, whereas finished goods decreased. What questions if any does this raise for you?

  1. What critical assumptions has TESLA made to value inventory? Does TESLA use FIFO or LIFO? Explain what is LCM (the lower of cost or market) and how this may impact inventory every year.
  2. What in general can be the potential impact on (a) value of inventory on hand with both methods (FIFO and LIFO) in a rising inflation environment) (b) potential impact on the IS?
  3. 3. Fixed assets are reported in the balance sheet as: Cost less accumulated depreciation. What information/components do we need to compute depreciation? Which of these components depend on management judgement?
  4. 4. Let’s take a look at depreciation expense for Tesla’s Machinery, equipment, vehicles, and office furniture in 2019. Below is an approach outlined:
  5. Depreciation expense for 2019 = ((6,329+7,167)/2)/7   = 6,748/7   = 964

Study this to understand the components and explore the exhibits and case to find the sources of input.


The average life of this asset is 7 years (given the range of 2 to 12)

The outlays of $838 (7167-6329) for new Machinery, equipment, vehicles, and office furniture were made halfway through the year.

We are assuming that there is zero salvage value. If most of the assets are for specialized machinery and equipment, it is unlikely to have much value at the end of its useful life.

A. How will the depreciation expense for 2019 of 964 above be reported: Is depreciation debited or credited by this? Is accumulated depreciation debited or credited by this? Complete this journal entry. Explain what a contra-asset is? Provide at least 2 examples of contra-assets.

B. It seems straight line depreciation was used above to calculate the depreciation expense- many businesses choose this method. What other methods can be used? Make a case as a management leader for another method of depreciation other than straight line and use your knowledge of various approaches to build a best possible case for another method to be used?

5. What are intangible assets? Provide some examples? Why do you think Tesla has so few intangible assets?