SOURCE: Gentex

March 28, 2007 08:24 ET

2007 BMW X3 and X5 Add Gentex Auto-Dimming Mirror Features

ZEELAND, MI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 28, 2007 -- Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ: GNTX), the leading supplier of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors to the worldwide automotive industry, has announced that it is shipping auto-dimming mirrors with advanced electronic features for the 2007 X3 and X5, BMW's premier sport activity vehicles.

The BMW X5, sold in Europe and other select regions, now includes Gentex's SmartBeam® High-Beam Headlamp Assist Technology as a stand-alone feature, or as part of a "premium lighting" package. SmartBeam uses a miniature camera-on-a-chip combined with algorithmic decision making to automatically turn a vehicle's high-beams on and off according to surrounding traffic conditions. The system is designed to maximize a vehicle's forward lighting and to eliminate the repetitive and sometimes burdensome task of turning the high beams on and off. BMW refers to SmartBeam as High-Beam Assist, or the German translation, Fernlichtassistent.

In North America, the new 2007 X5 adds Johnson Controls' HomeLink® Wireless Control System to the list of available mirror-based options. HomeLink consists of three buttons conveniently located on the face of the mirror that can be programmed to operate garage doors, estate gates, security systems, home lighting and other radio-frequency-controlled devices.

The North American version of the X3, which has offered a base Gentex interior auto-dimming mirror as part of an option package since 2004, has added a digital compass feature to the mirror. The availability of driver- and passenger-side exterior auto-dimming mirrors is another feature upgrade. The three-mirror system can be purchased as part of a premium package.

"The X5 is the latest in a long list of BMW vehicles to offer the proprietary SmartBeam feature that further enhances driver safety, comfort and convenience," said Gentex Senior Vice President Enoch Jen. "BMW continues to see the value of Gentex products on its vehicle line-up as evidenced by their increased availability in North America and countries around the world where BMWs are sold."

Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ: GNTX) is an international company that provides high-quality products to the worldwide automotive industry and North American fire protection market. Based in Zeeland, Michigan, the Company develops, manufactures and markets interior and exterior automatic-dimming automotive rearview mirrors that utilize proprietary electrochromic technology to dim in proportion to the amount of headlight glare from trailing vehicle headlamps. Many of the mirrors are sold with advanced electronic features, and more than 96 percent of the Company's revenues are derived from the sale of auto-dimming mirrors to nearly every major automaker in the world.

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