Sony: "Consider the US with its massive land and cheap people"

Sony's UK managing director Ray Maguire says America full of "cheap people."

Another quote from the "did they really say that?!" files.  This quote is another from a Sony executive, UK managing director Ray Maguire as reported by

Why is the PlayStation 3 more expensive in the UK than it is in the rest of Europe?

Well the first thing that is important is that I want the price to be as low as possible, because the lower the price the more we sell – we're a software model.

If you take the product at the factory gates there are slight variations to price if you're putting out a single sku product, but it's very, very small. But then the differences start to accumulate. If you've got different shipping costs and import duties that makes variation in price. And that's just getting it into a country. Then you have a look at the economic and financial situation in each and every territory. That's where the differences start to vary massively.

If you take what's considered to be the most expensive and the least expensive – consider the US with its massive land and cheap people. Then you look at the UK – a little island where rent and rates are at an absolute premium, and the cost of people is a lot more. The cost of retail is vastly more in the UK than it is in the US and that's before you even stop to consider the US doesn't have VAT at RRP, they put a small amount on afterwards. Whereas, we get stung by 17.5 per cent. And pity the poor Irish and places like Sweden.

But we have to remember this is no different to selling a cup of Starbucks coffee or a McDonald's hamburger. This is the cost of living in the UK. It just becomes another barrier for us to get more product into the marketplace because the price needs to be set higher to get from our factory to the consumer. [emphasis mine]

Eh?  What's he on about?  Why start ranting on about Americans when trying to justify the price of the PS3 in the UK?  Sounds to me like what he's really saying is that Sony would like to sell the PS3 for more in the US if it could but can't get away with it.