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The Wall Street Journal (via Reuters) is reporting today that Ford Motor will close five plants, employing about 7,500 workers, as part of its North American restructuring plan.

Combined with the white-collar jobs axed in November, Ford's labor force cutbacks are now at 11,500 and counting, if the current rumor is accurate.

The WSJ's sources said the company is considering closing assembly plants in St. Louis, Atlanta, and St. Paul, Minnesota, an engine-parts plant in Windsor, Ontario and a truck-assembly plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico.

Ford has promised its North American restructuring plan will not be ready until January, so none of this is carved in stone. We can expect a rising tide of rumors about Ford's plan over the next month, so brace yourself!

[Thanks for the tips, everyone!]

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