Pratt Miller Expanding Beyond Racing into Defense Contracting

  • Jan 21, 2012
  • Pratt Miller

Reading Time: 2 minutes

New Hudson-based Pratt Miller is wildly famous as an auto supplier and aftermarket and motor racing firm, but its perhaps less famous as a defense contractor.

Nonetheless, P&M has been making great strides on the defense industry front.

Just last week at the big, two-day NDIA/Michigan Defense Industrial Base Expo at Macomb College in Warren, Pratt Miller had a recruiting booth among 30 or more contractors displaying at the show.

Staffing the booth for Pratt were recruiter Sandy McKinnon and Sara Blackmer, director, Government Markets.

Blackmer discussed Pratt Miller’s progression from being an original auto supplier to now both auto and military.

Asked if there was synergy between auto and defense for P&M, she said, “There’s absolutely synergy.

“Pratt Miller Engineering’s heritage is in motorsports, we’ve been exclusive to GM Racing since 2005.

“From that winning tradition that we have, we’ve been able to translate some of the smart technologies into advanced automotive, and also defense applications.

“So, vehicle lightweighting, reliability, durability, rugged-izing things like suspensions, redesigning chassis and body work are the kinds of things we do for vehicles.”

Pratt Miller’s engineering and analysis work for defense includes a wide range of tools including packaging/architecture design, 3D Solids/Parametric CAD, reverse engineering, industrial design, structure optimization, weight reduction, durability/fatigue analysis and much more.

Their defense applications apply to Tactical Wheeled Vehicles, Tracked Vehicles, Robotics/Unmanned Systems, Trailers, Fleet Resetting, Missile Systems and the like.

“So our facility is soup to nuts: clean-sheet design, to development, to concepting and prototype manufacturing.

“We do not do commodity work, we also do not do volume-anything. But if you’re looking for a full-system prototype or a piece-part prototype, we can absolutely do that. Small quantity volume we can do.”

Asked which was busier, defense or automotive, Blackmer replied:

“We started as racing, we’ve been in racing since 1989 but exclusive to GM since 2005.”

“We still do probably 60 percent of our business is racing, and the other 40 percent is split between advanced automotive and defense.

“Say it’s more defense this year than automotive, but that fluctuates depending on market needs.”


Reach out to us to see how we can help solve your toughest design, engineering and production problems and bring your innovative vision to reality.