SOURCE: Gentex


December 15, 2010 08:28 ET

Gentex SmartBeam® High-Beam Headlamp Assist Offered on European Activity Vehicle

ZEELAND, MI--(Marketwire - December 15, 2010) -  Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ: GNTX), the Zeeland, Michigan-based manufacturer of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and camera-based active-safety systems for the automotive industry, commercial fire protection products and dimmable aircraft windows, has announced that it is supplying auto-dimming mirrors with advanced electronic features, including the Company's proprietary SmartBeam® High-Beam Headlamp Assist system, for the 2011 BMW X3 sports activity vehicle (SAV). BMW refers to SmartBeam as High-Beam Assist, or the German translation, Fernlichtassistent.

The X3 is available in global markets and SmartBeam® is available as an option in Europe, North America and Asia. In addition to offering an auto-dimming three-mirror system, other features, including a universal garage door opener, will be available in the U.S. and Europe as part of premium packages.

Gentex has been shipping its SmartBeam feature to various automakers since 2004, and more than a million of the Company's camera systems are in operation on vehicles throughout Europe and North America.

"BMW is a longtime Gentex customer and has been a leader in the adoption of SmartBeam. The X3 is the most recent BMW vehicle to add SmartBeam to its list of optional equipment," said Gentex Senior Vice President Enoch Jen, "and SmartBeam is now offered on 11 BMW models, including the 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7 Series, the X1, X3, X5 and X6, and the Z4 and 5 Series GT. This strong representation by BMW is indicative of the strong market interest in the SmartBeam feature."

SmartBeam uses a miniature camera-on-a-chip combined with algorithmic decision-making to automatically operate a vehicle's high beams in order to optimize their usage according to surrounding traffic conditions. The system maximizes forward lighting while eliminating the repetitive task of turning the high beams on and off manually.

SmartBeam is integrated into a Gentex auto-dimming mirror, which automatically darkens to eliminate glare from the headlamps of vehicles approaching from the rear.

To meet the growing demand for the Company's product line, Gentex is currently working to fill approximately 140 manufacturing positions plus more than 100 technical positions, primarily in the electrical engineering and software development areas. Additional information is available at

Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ: GNTX) is the leading supplier of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and camera-based active safety systems to the global automotive industry. The Company also provides smoke alarms and signaling devices to the North American fire protection market, as well as dimmable aircraft windows for the commercial, business and general aviation markets. Based in Zeeland, Michigan, the international 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. More than half of the Company's interior mirrors are sold with advanced electronic features, and more than 97 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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