Mazda Toyota names Alabama assembly lines to honor Rocket City

Mazda Toyota names Alabama assembly lines to honor Rocket City
Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA is naming its assembly lines Apollo and Discovery, a tip of the hat to the history of Rocket City where the new auto plant is being built. The Apollo missions took astronauts to the moon. (NASA)

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) USA is honoring Huntsville with two out-of-this-world names for its assembly lines being built at the joint venture’s $1.6 billion plant in Huntsville.

Apollo and Discovery will be the names of the lines, a tribute to the Rocket City’s contributions to the U.S. space program.

MTM announced the assembly line names on Twitter and through a release to the media.

MTM said construction is on schedule, with plans to begin production at the plant in 2021. Hiring has started for the 4,000 jobs at the plant.

“Thanks to our team members’ creativity and innovative thinking, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing is proud to name our two future assembly lines Apollo and Discovery in a nod to our city’s heritage as the birthplace of our nation’s space program,” said Mark Brazeal, vice president for administration at MTM.  “The scores of brilliant men and women who worked tirelessly to further mankind’s progress and exploration into the unknown gives our team motivation to add to the Rocket City’s history as a producer of world-class vehicles.”

Apollo was the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) program that resulted in 12 American astronauts walking on the moon.  The space shuttle Discovery completed 39 successful missions, surpassing the number of flights made by any other orbiters in NASA’s fleet.  Discovery also launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit and was the first American Spacecraft piloted by a woman, Eileen Collins.

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