Issue: Oct 2011


Gentex Announces New Programs on OPEL/Vauxhall Models



by Steve Barclay

Gentex has announced that its auto-dimming rearview mirrors are available on the OPEL/Vauxhall 2012 Astra GTC, Zafira Tourer, and Ampera. The Astra GTC and Zafira Tourer also offer the SmartBeam(R) high-beam assist system. The vehicles are available in the European markets.

The Astra GTC is a sporty compact coupe. The Zafira Tourer is a compact monocab. Both vehicles offer the SmartBeam feature as standard equipment on the top trim level. For other trim levels, the feature is available in various packages. A base interior auto-dimming mirror is available on the Ampera, Opel's new electric vehicle.

"This is exciting new business for Gentex," said Enoch Jen, Gentex Senior Vice President. "The Astra GTC and Zafira Tourer are the first SmartBeam programs we have with Opel /Vauxhall that are not only compatible with Xenon headlamps but are also offered with Halogen headlamps -- making it available to a wider range of customers. The Ampera is Opel's first electric vehicle."

"Our auto-dimming feature and SmartBeam technology are continuing to penetrate the C segment, or compact family car market," said Jen.

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.

Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation is the leading supplier of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and camera-based driver-assist systems to the global automotive industry. The Company also provides commercial 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 98 percent of the Company's net sales are derived from the sale of auto-dimming mirrors to every major automaker in the world

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