Continental Teves Inc. and Sachs Automotive form separate joint ventures with Vinnie Johnson, the retired Detroit Pistons basketball star-turned automotive supplier. The Continental Teves venture, Piston Modules LLC, will assemble brake corner modules for General Motors Corp. luxury cars. Piston Modules will supply 150,000 rear corner modules for GM vehicles in the first year, beginning this fall. The component package will include the wheel bearing, hub, brake disc and caliper, ABS sensor, wiring and covers. Capacity allows for 500,000 units a year. Piston Modules occupies 30,000 sq. ft. (2,700 sq. m) of a plant owned by Piston Automotive, the company owned by Mr. Johnson in the Clark Street industrial park in Detroit's Empowerment Zone.

Piston Automotive, founded in 1995, produces strut and spring assemblies for GM's Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant. Also in June, Mr. Johnson announces PASA Modules LLC, a separate $50 million joint venture with Sachs Automotive to assemble shock absorber modules for independent front- and rear-suspensions for Ford and Lincoln sport/utility vehicles. Mr. Johnson, an African-American, owns 51% of both ventures, qualifying them as minority suppliers.