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Mazda Toyota Manufacturing embraces Alabama hometown’s space roots

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA is taking a cue from its Alabama hometown’s leadership role in the nation’s space program by naming its two assembly lines “Apollo” and “Discovery.”

“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 the joint venture.

“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,” he added.

Apollo, of course, was NASA’s program that put American astronauts on the Moon. The Space Shuttle Discovery completed 39 missions, more than any of NASA’s orbiters. Discovery launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit and became the first U.S. spacecraft piloted by a female astronaut, Eileen Collins.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville played a major role in both the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing said today that construction of its $1.6 billion auto assembly plant in Huntsville remains on schedule. Up to 4,000 jobs will created, and hiring is already under way. Production at the facility is scheduled to begin in 2021.

The partnership announced plans for the factory, which will produce up to 300,000 vehicles annually, in early 2018.

(Courtesy Made in Alabama)