Tyre Industry Welcomes Continued Use of Non-Metric Units
Non-metric units have received a welcome stay of execution from the European commission, a letter from the commission, made public last night reveals. The commission had been proposing to ban the use of non-metric units (including inches) with effect from the end of 2009. The news that this move has now been dropped indefinitely has been welcomed by the tyre industry.
The Tyre Industry Federation (TIF) lobbied strongly on behalf of the tyre industry that no longer permitting the use of non-metric units would have a severe impact on both the industry itself and the users of the product.
Commented TIF Chairman Jim Rickard: “We are very pleased that the commission seems to be coming to a sensible conclusion as a ban on non-metric units would have caused chaos in the tyre industry, as well as many other sectors. Current systems for denominating tyre and wheel sizes are accepted worldwide and at the very least a ban on these could have caused disruption to global trade in tyres, which is the norm in the industry, led to other practical problems, imposed substantial costs and sown confusion in the minds of motorists.”
However, those behind the proposed ban have vowed to appeal. Derek Pollard, the secretary of the UK Metric Association, said the commissioner had given in to American manufacturers, who lobbied against labelling their products in metric for the European market: “America has so much economic clout, that it seems to have carried the day.”
Speaking to the Guardian he said the decision would continue to cause “confusion and difficulty” in the UK: “Sooner or later Britain is going to see sense and go metric only, as more than 190 countries have done.”