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GM -- Yes, That GM -- Is "Exciting" Again

Tuesday, 13 Feb 2007 | 4:34 PM ET

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you: General Motors is "exciting." The turnaround in the automaker's status comes courtesy of Merrill Lynch, which kicked GM's rating up two notches, from "sell" to "buy." Two industry-watchers joined "Closing Bell" to explain why.

GM vs. Ford
Discussing whether investors should buy one and dump the other, with John Casesa, Casesa Strategic Advisors president; John Wolkonowicz, Automotive Group Global Insight sr. analyst and CNBC's Maria Bartiromo

John Casesa, president of Casesa Strategic Advisors, declared that Merrill has a "very talented analyst" in the person of one John Murphy. The latter's brokerage report underscored GM's pension pool, which is supposedly overfunded by some $17 billion; Casesa said that many foresee "radically different" deals with labor come September. He credited Murphy with calculating that GM had a head start on entering the financial maelstrom ahead of Ford Motor -- which Merrill reduced to "sell" -- and thus GM began to repair itself ahead of its chief rival, too. Casesa notes that Ford is only now "walking into the valley" of economic tribulation.

John Wolkonowicz "couldn't agree more." The senior analyst at Global Insight's automotive group, Wolkonowicz told CNBC's Maria Bartiromo that GM boasts a "tremendous number of exciting new" products. He noted that Ford does indeed have several new items on the way -- but the family-branded automaker's products are just "far less exciting" than the "luxe product resurgence" being enjoyed by GM. He also faults Ford's plans for marketing those drab models.

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  • With almost 30 years experience in business television, Bill Griffeth is co-anchor of the 3 p.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Closing Bell."

  • Kelly Evans

    Kelly Evans is an on-air correspondent, reporting across CNBC's business day programming. She is co-anchor of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."