Gentex Corporation, the maker of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors, reported net sales down 1% from $129.3 million in the first quarter of 2004 to $127.6 million in the first quarter of 2005.

First quarter net income declined 13% to $25.9 million compared with $29.8 million in the first quarter last year. Earnings per diluted share were 17 cents in the first quarter of 2005 compared with 19 cents in the first quarter of 2004.

"We knew that the first quarter was going to be tough, given the current environment at certain automotive customers headquartered in North America," said Gentex executive vice president Garth Deur.

"There were a number of unforeseen additional vehicle assembly plant shutdowns at GM that not only contributed to the lower unit shipment growth rate, but also to a less favourable mix of mirror unit shipments.

"Despite the weakness at GM, our strong mirror unit shipments to European and Asian transplant assembly operations in North America and to our customers in Europe resulted in net unit growth for the quarter," added Deur.