Auto Industry picks up the warning from Tyre Trade News that the previously deferred EU Directive 80/181 now ‘threatened’ for 2010 intends to banish imperial measures, to the detriment of the tyre industry, which still uses inches to describe rim sizes while expressing tyres’ section width in millimetres.
Given the hundreds of thousands of tyre manufacturing moulds in existence around the world, says the magazine’s e-mail newsletter, “the gigantic cost and inconvenience of conversion would only be matched by its huge unimportance”.
Indeed, that's exactly the point.
For example, North America will stay with its inches for a while longer so that will mean maintaining strictly separate inventories for Europe-destined products, the sidewalls of which will need to be untainted by any non-metric markings or symbols. Pounds per square inch will be out as a gauge of pressure.
Note the mechanism here. Business should lobby its governments to go cap in hand to "Europe's legislators" - our unelected masters.
“There may be no more love of the inch than one has of the centimetre,” continues the magazine, “but we should be left to accommodate both for as long as it makes economic and commercial sense. The criminalising of the one in favour of the other serves no purpose and will cost billions of dollars which industry and ultimately the consumer will be charged with … If enough tyre manufacturers (and these are not the only ones who will be affected) complain about this to their governments and enough governments have the will to impress their concerns on Europe's legislators it may still be avoided.”