ThyssenKrupp To Delay Production At Alabama Plant

German corporation said it will delay the planned start of stainless steel production at a $4 billion plant in Alabama.

BERLIN (AP) -- ThyssenKrupp will delay the planned start of stainless steel production at a $4 billion plant in Alabama, the German corporation's CEO said Friday.

Speaking at the company's annual general meeting Friday, Ekkehard Schulz did not estimate how long the delay would be, but said the drop in demand was the worst he had seen in his 40-year career.

"We will set and evaluate priorities, whether it makes more sense to move some investments to a later date," Schulz said. He said production at the plant near Mobile, Ala., would definitely start later than planned. Startup at the facility had been planned for early 2010.

Schulz said Bochum-based ThyssenKrupp was considering overtime cutbacks and shorter working hours among other measures to help it adjust production to flagging demand.

Even with those adjustments, Schulz said the unprecedented economic instability meant he could not rule out "significant cuts" in personnel.

He said the company expected its high-grade steel division to post a loss at the outset of the fiscal year.

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