Gentex opened its doors in 1974 as a manufacturer of high-quality fire protection products. Company founder Fred Bauer, who serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, revolutionized the industry with the world's first dual-sensor photoelectric smoke detector - a device less prone to false alarms yet quick to detect slow, smoldering fires. Today, millions of Gentex smoke detectors and signaling devices can be found in hospitals, hotels, office buildings and other commercial applications throughout North America.
Gentex is best known, however, as the pioneer of the electrochromic, automatic-dimming mirror industry. Automakers had long been looking for a better way to eliminate dangerous rearview mirror glare. The Company believed that electronics and electro-optical sensing technologies held the key. In 1982, Gentex introduced the world's first electromechanical (motorized) auto-dimming mirror. It was quickly adopted by Ford and General Motors, who in just three short years were purchasing over 200,000 units annually.
The Company then engaged a talented group of research chemists and electrical engineers to achieve what many in the scientific community thought was impossible. In 1987, they brought a 50-year-old scientific phenomena out of the laboratory and into the automobile with the introduction of the world's first electrochromic auto-dimming mirror. An entire industry was born. Over the years, we've made nighttime driving safer for millions of drivers around the globe by providing the global automotive industry with mirrors that detect and eliminate dangerous rearview mirror glare. Gentex auto-dimming mirrors are offered as standard or optional equipment on over 300 vehicle models around the world. Our research has allowed us to now specialize in a broad spectrum of technologies and processes to deliver high quality products to the automotive, aerospace, and fire protection industries.