NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The old adage in geeky analyst land is that pickup truck sales are a wonderful indicator of both the health of the U.S. housing market and by extension, the economy. More dirt, gravel, and lumber piled into the bed of a construction worker's new Ford (F) F-150 or General Motor's (GM) Silverado sure sounds like a sign of a good economy. However, I encourage you to lift your eyes up from the huge Tesla (TSLA) info-attainment system for a hot second and recognize this: the United States is being invaded by HUGE alien-looking vans as it continues to recover!
Well, in truth, these alien vans I reference are actually cargo and passenger models from Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Nissan, and Dodge that are replacing outdated pieces of junk from yesteryear:
Let me tell you, the market for these huge, underpowered and overweight alien vans is on fire. Consider these stats supplied by Mercedes-Benz, the maker of the Sprinter line - the classiest of the group:
- Since 2009, the van market has grown 35%. Sprinter sales are up 155% during that time.
- Mercedes-Benz sold 163,000 Sprinters worldwide in 2013, with the U.S. (22,000) second to Germany (36,000) in terms of units sold.
- Sprinter sales rose 17.5% year over year in February.
I am sticking with my muscle cars. But, what would YOU rather drive around in 2016 as an Amazon (AMZN) same-day delivery person; an alien van or an all-aluminum Ford pickup truck that was born from the minds of Alcoa (AA)? Tweet me your responses @BrianSozzi and yes, you will receive a retweet, not just a weak favorite.
Read on to see 2014's Alien Vans: