Editor’s Note: This analysis was prepared by the tickerspy.com staff and was published Monday (July 27). Tickerspy is a free investing website where you can track multiple stock portfolios and compare against 250 proprietary indexes tracking themes from nanotech to agriculture to precious metals. 

The automotive sector remains a laggard, but less practical modes of transportation are booming.

At some points during the recession, recreational vehicle stocks underperformed automotive stocks. At the time it seemed logical — people need cars, and therefore will find a way to buy them, perhaps at the expense of less practical luxury vehicles. Now that the economy is on the rebound, however, recreational vehicle stocks are outperforming by a long shot. Just what is driving these high-power, high-priced alternative modes of transportation?

The Recreational Vehicle Stocks Index is currently up by 20% over the last month. It is beating the S&P 500 by 12%, and crushing the lagging Trucks and Auto Stocks Index by 25% over the period.

Winnebago Industries Inc. unveiled its 2010 lineup last week, and the stock has since rallied by 20%. President, CEO, and chairman Bob Olson remarked, “Our 2010 model lineup is without a doubt the best we’ve ever offered.” He continued to note that the response from company dealers was “overwhelmingly positive.” As of October 2008, the company’s suggested retail prices for new motorhomes ranged from approximately $61,000 to $306,000. As of August 2008, nearly 50% of annual units sold were larger models, built directly on medium- and heavy-duty truck chassis.

Thor Industries Inc. is the Recreational Vehicle Index’s most popular component among professional investors. At the beginning of Q2 four Pros counted the stock among their top-15 U.S. listed equity holdings. The stock is a laggard over the last month, up 8%.

As of this writing, the Recreational Vehicle Stocks Index is among the top-10 performing tickerspy Indexes over the last month.

Marine Products will be reporting earnings tomorrow, (July 28). Investors have bid up shares by 24% in anticipation in just the last week. The company specializes in the manufacture and sales of powerboats, catering to everyone from recreational fishermen to high-rolling sport yacht buyers.

Harley Davidson is up by over 30% over the last month. Like Winnebago, the company also recently rolled out its line of 2010 vehicles. Nine new Harleys were introduced, the most expansive in company history. Earlier this month, the company announced a -30% decline in second-quarter sales, and a massive -91% drop in profits.

All-terrain-vehicle (ATV) players Arctic Cat and Polaris Industries are also having a strong month. Polaris announced a -28% drop in Q2 profit earlier this month on a -25% decline in sales. CEO Scott W. Wine said the company gained market share in the off-road vehicle sector. Investors will see how that affects Arctic Cat’s bottom line when it reports second-quarter numbers.

Meanwhile, popular traditional automakers Toyota and Honda are ahead by less than 5% in the last month. Ford is up by 26% in the period.