US-based automatic-dimming rear-view mirror maker Gentex Corporation has broken ground for a new production facility near Neckarsulm, Germany. The new building will expand engineering, product development and logistics support for growing business in Europe and replaces an existing smaller leased building.

"We've been working in Europe for over 10 years, and have established a very solid customer base there. We're committed to that market and, with the increasing acceptance of advanced electronic features in auto-dimming mirrors, we have reached the point where there is a need for us to provide advanced product development support to our customers in that region," a Gentex spokesman said.

The new facility, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2003, will be approximately 3,800 square metres (about 40,000 square feet).

"In addition, we have purchased sufficient land to expand as required to meet the needs of customers in the foreseeable future," the spokesman added. Gentex estimates that the land and building will cost approximately $US4-5 million.

Suggested further reading: The global market for vehicle mirror systems - forecasts to 2005