The German Big three BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have faced each other for the European luxury car buyer for decades now, and the fight isn’t limited to high-volume segments. The compact roadster / coupe segment has been a battleground as well, although the three brands have followed entirely different strategies for this segment. Each of the three manufacturers has been in the lead of the compact roadster / coupe category at some point in the past 16 years, since the introduction of the first Audi TT.
Audi was the last to the game, as the BMW Z3 and Mercedes-Benz SLK were introduced in late 1995 and 1996 respectively, while the TT didn’t arrive until 1999. But it entered the segment with a bang, saleswise, immediately rising to the top in its first year of sales. [Read more…]