ThyssenKrupp to scale back production

BERLIN (AP) - The CEO of ThyssenKrupp says the German corporation will delay the planned start of stainless steel production at a $4 billion plant in Alabama, though company officials tell WSFA 12 News construction on the plant is on going.

Speaking at the company's annual general meeting Friday, Ekkehard Schulz did not estimate how long the delay might last, but said the precipitous 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 added that production at the plant near Mobile, Ala., would definitely start later than planned.

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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