Ford has declined to comment on a report it is likely to close five plants thus eliminating about 6% of the company's North American workforce.

Director of global corporate communications Oscar Suris told just-auto from Detroit: "We are not commenting on the speculation in the Wall Street Journal at the moment, but will be making an announcement in January."

Ford, facing a deepening financial crisis, had previously promised to unveil a radical restructuring in North America early next year, and the Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that the five plants in question employ about 7,500 workers and include assembly plants in St. Louis, Atlanta and St. Paul, Minnestoa, as well as an engine-parts plant in Windsor, Ontario, in Canada, plus a truck assembly plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico.