Johnson’s number one goal after he retired from the NBA was to start his own automotive business. He followed through in 1995 and founded “Piston Automotive.”
In the early years of the company, Piston Automotive produced packing supplies for automakers in the Detriot area, however, the business was not profitable.
Vinnie Johnson was on the brink of filing for bankruptcy when he decided to reach out to a client for support, Harold Kutner, a VP at General Motors. Vinnie then convinced Harold to come and exam his operation.
Kutner’s valuable feedback to Johnson was recommending him to transition from creating packaging to supplying auto parts. Vinnie Johnson took his advice and General Motors agreed to be their first customer.