“Significant” plant closings and job cuts will be part of a restructuring plan Ford Motor Co. will announce in January, CEO Bill Ford says.

Negotiations also are under way with the United Auto Workers union on health-care cost reductions similar to those tentatively agreed to with General Motors Corp., he confirms.

But company executives say there is no plan to spin off Ford Motor Credit to bolster the auto maker's pockets, a move GM has said it may do with its General Motors Acceptance Corp. finance unit.

Although he refuses to provide details, Bill Ford says the reorganization plan will be formalized with the newly installed Mark Fields, president-the Americas, and Anne Stevens, chief operating officer-the Americas, in December and announced in January. The plan will focus on plant closings and restructuring business operations overall to right-size the company in the U.S. relative to its market share, he says.

Ford says it lost $284 million in the third quarter on sales of $40.9 billion, compared with earnings of $266 million on sales of $39.1 billion in like-2004. The results include the finalization of the buyback of some Visteon Corp. operations and the deal to sell The Hertz Corp.