Feb. 17--Ford reports record 1986 profit of $3.3 billion, beating GM for the first time since 1924.

March 3--General Motors announces plans to buy $4.8 billion of its own stock as part of continuing efforts to boost stock price and enhance corporate image.

April 1--Honda says it plans to export U.S.-built cars back to Japan. In the fall, Ford and GM say they will increase exports to Japan in 1988.

April 23--Chrysler announces that it will buy Lamborghini, as Detroit auto makers continue purchases of European sports car companies. On Sept. 8, Ford announces plans to acquire Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.

May 8--New Japanese-style work rules are to be introduced at the General Motors plant in Van Nuys after a Los Angeles judge rejects challenge by some workers to start of "team concept."

May 22--Robert C. Stempel, 53, is named president of General Motors, replacing F. James McDonald.

June 24--Chrysler is indicted on charges that it sold some cars driven with disconnected odometers. Company pleads no contest on Dec. 14 and agreed to pay $16 million to car owners.

Aug. 5--Chrysler acquires American Motors for $1.2 billion. AMC--maker of Renault passenger cars and Jeep trucks--becomes Chrysler's Eagle-Jeep division.

Sept. 17--Import companies move to expand their presence in the United States as Honda announces that it will spend $561 million to expand operations in Ohio and Torrance. Mazda opens $550-million manufacturing complex in Flat Rock, Mich., on Oct. 9. Toyota announces on Nov. 10 that it will build a $300-million engine plant in Kentucky. And South Korea's Hyundai Excel is the top import on the list of best-selling car models in 1987.

Sept. 29--Auto magnate Henry Ford II dies at age 70.

Sept. 30--The United Auto Workers union ratifies a new three-year contract with Ford, providing sweeping job guarantees for workers and a moratorium on plant closings. GM later agrees to a similar contract.

Nov. 20--Volkswagen says it will close its only U.S. assembly plant, at New Stanton, Pa.

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