Two dramatic incidents shook the world. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was almost totally destroyed, and the manned Challenger space shuttle exploded shortly after being launched.
- Volvo announced the acquisition of GM Heavy Truck Corporation with a broad customer base and a more extensive dealer network in the USA, and with a strong presence on the Canadian market.
- Volvo was the first truck manufacturer to win the 'Truck of the Year' award for the third time. This time for the FL range.
- Launch of the low-built FL truck range.
- A revised wheel loader range was unveiled at the end of 1986.
- Volvo Penta introduced Volvo's first series-produced four-valve engine in its Aquamatic 171 drive.