Gentex Corporation (Nasdaq: GNTX), the Zeeland, Michigan-based manufacturer of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and commercial fire protection products, has opened a new automotive sales and engineering office in Paris, France.
Gentex pioneered Night Vision Safety(TM)(NVS®) Mirrors, which automatically darken to reduce glare from the headlamps of vehicles approaching from the rear. The brighter the glare, the darker the mirrors become, making nighttime driving safer.
The newly formed Gentex France S.A.S. will house sales and engineering operations designed to serve the Company’s automotive customers in France and throughout Europe. Henri Bornholt, an automotive industry veteran with over 25 years of automotive sales and engineering experience, has been appointed president of Gentex France and will manage the day-to-day operations of the office. Over the course of Bornholt’s career, he has held positions with Siemens AG, The Echlin Group, Eaton Corporation and, most recently, Britax International.
“France holds great potential for our automatic-dimming mirrors and related electronic features, and we believe that opening a French office is the best way to provide localized customer service and support,” said Ken La Grand, Gentex’s executive vice president.
Gentex continues to experience strong growth in Europe. Approximately 25 percent of the Company’s revenues come from customers in Europe. According to La Grand, he sees the greatest growth coming from the Company’s automatic- dimming rearview mirror products with advanced electronic features, such as compass and temperature displays, remote keyless entry receivers, and light- emitting diode map lamps.
Gentex Corporation is an international company that provides high-quality products to the worldwide automotive industry and North American fire protection market. The Company develops, manufactures and markets proprietary electro-optic products, including interior and exterior electrochromic, automatic-dimming Night Vision Safety(TM)(NVS®) automotive rearview mirrors that dim in proportion to the amount of headlight glare from trailing vehicle headlamps, and an extensive line of fire protection products for commercial applications.
Gentex was the first company in the world to successfully develop and produce a commercial electrochromic mirror for the motor vehicle industry. The Company is the leading supplier of these mirrors to the worldwide automotive industry. Gentex OEM customers include Audi, Bentley, BMW, Daewoo, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia Motors, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Porsche, Rolls Royce and Toyota. Gentex aftermarket/distributor customers include Gulf States Toyota Distributors, Mito Corporation, Southeast Toyota Distributors, Subaru Distributors NE and Toyota Motor Sales USA.
Founded in 1974, Gentex operates out of four facilities in Zeeland, Michigan; an automotive sales office in Livonia, Michigan; automotive sales and engineering subsidiaries in Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom; and four regional U.S. sales offices for the Fire Protection Products Group. The Company is recognized for its quality products, its application of world class manufacturing principles, for its commitment to developing and maintaining a highly skilled workforce, and for encouraging employee ownership of the Company’s stock.