Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
When questioned about this car manufacturers cited a list of cost similar to Simon's and it appeared that the differences were fully justified until someone decided to try importing cars from the cheaper markets and did so successfully and more cheaply. Re-importing then became a minor industry in itself and any customer could order a car this way and even after paying the middleman's fees still bought more cheaply.
pentaxuser
There is an old top gear bit where jeremy clarckson goes to miami to check out total cost of importing a car to the UK and shows the huge savings (mid 80's), however - today most cars, for most large markets are made locally to each market, so all that talk about shipping and duties is not relevant. I guess in a world where Kodak had various plants around the world this also could have had an impact...

I remember that about 10 years ago, an ilford importer in a country to remain unnamed, due to bad management had failed to adjust his prices to new list prices from ilford, over a very very long period of time. When the import of ilford went into new hands there was a 100% or more spike in pricing. This was mostly due to the new importer having to restock on all new material, with current prices, where all stock up until then was either bought at lower price, or just sold at a loss or very small margin. To the end customer this hurt real bad, and i think ilford have no control over this type of situation, which sounds very similar to what the OP is talking about and what the price change in Japan reflects.