Look for a repeat of the first-quarter earnings pattern between now and the end of June. Chrysler Corp. will continue to do much better than last year, while Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. will show improvement from the winter while still falling short of last year's performance. Launch costs for the F-series pickup and the Fiesta (Europe and Brazil) keep Ford's first-quarter profit of $653 million well below last year's whopping $1.55 billion. The 17-day strike at GM's brake parts plant in Dayton costs $900 million after taxes and results in a $387 million loss in its North American operations. The corporate-wide net income of $1 billion is down more than half from last year's opening three months. Meanwhile, Chrysler just cranks out its high-margin Grand Cherokees and minivans in volumes that more than offset higher rebates needed to sell cars. Potential brush fires loom on GM's labor-relations front, but costly new model changeovers won't begin hitting until the third and fourth quarters. And it's unlikely GM will be able to make up more than a third of the 250,000 vehicles lost during the Dayton strike.