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The Dexter plant opened in early 1974 and was part of the automotive business group, manufacturing mufflers, pipes, and exhaust assemblies. At the time of its construction, it was the largest new plant construction ever done by the company. Over the years the plant has expanded through new construction and well as by moving into nearby properties.
One of the more interesting facts about the plant involves one of these "growth moves" to nearby property. In the 1980s & 1990s, the Arvin plant in Dexter was one of the two largest manufacturing operations in town. The other, Arvin's competitor on the labor market in Stoddard County, was the Purolator filter facility. In 1995, the owners of Purolator, Mark IV Industries, closed the Dexter Purolator plant, meaning the loss of jobs for 400+ employees. The property on which the Purolator facility sat actually bordered the Arvin property on the west side of town. Ownership reverted to the city of Dexter. Then, in 1999, Arvin bought the Purolator business from Mark IV. As the automotive business in Dexter grew, more space was needed, so Arvin actually moved part of its operations into the former Purolator facility which had come full-circle and was part of the same "family" as the Purolator sites in North Carolina and Utah again.
Dexter, Missouri Plant