There is no doubt that General Motors, Chrysler and Ford were able to put together labor contracts that will help put them on a much better footing.
Whether it is enough is a question that only time will answer. In the meantime, the top executives of the Detroit 3 must deal with a much more serious question, and I'm not sure they will act in concert.
During the course of those contracts, the three companies will reduce their labor costs by Billions of dollars. That's with a capital "B." The question is how wisely they will invest or spend those savings.
Certainly, Wall Street might be hoping that the public companies, GM and Ford, will let those billions fall to the bottom line and watch their profits skyrocket. Nothing would change in the market, but the investors would see a vast improvement in profit and loss.
The automakers could decide that their customers deserve a break. GM, Chrysler and Ford could cut prices significantly and hope that their competitors will let them have their price advantage and pick up several points of market share.
Another choice could be to invest it in their products. A new engine designed to compete with those of their European and Asian rivals could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. New cars and new segments could cost billions, and those investments might pay off only if the Detroit 3 create "gotta have" cars and trucks with the money.
Or maybe they could invest in a lot of bricks and mortar, creating highly efficient plants that could build the highest quality cars and trucks. Replacing a lot of inefficient plants would raise quality and help to produce world-class products.
Some might say that what the Detroit 3 really need are more marketing dollars to convince customers of the high value of today's vehicles.
Or maybe they should raise the dealer margins so their most important assets, their dealers, could become stronger and more profitable.
Well, I'd probably vote for product. It would be the biggest risk with the biggest unknown, but it is certainly critical for the recovery of the Detroit 3.
They will probably do some of everything. And we'll be able to identify the winners and losers down the road when we see just what all that employee giveback has created.
They have only a single chance.