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Old 21-06-2013, 06:10 PM
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Lightbulb The overseas success of the Domingo

In the Attic named Pleiades

In addition to the domestic market in Japan, the SUBARU Domingo has been exported overseas and has acquired numerous fans due to its unique identity as a small 1,000 cc car for seven passengers. Here, we will introduce an article describing some of the overseas success of the Domingo.

In the United Kingdom, the Domingo is called the “SUMO”
Good reputation as a practical micro van

Upon searching for a familiar Japanese word to reflect compactness with good performance and strength, the name “SUMO” was chosen. This was the U.K. name for Subaru’s one-box wagon the Domingo. The March edition of Cartopia reported on news of how the SUMO is used at Dublin Airport in the Republic of Ireland. The SUMO is also used a lot by florists, bakeries and so on in the U.K. for making deliveries.

True to its name, the “SUMO” has received the Best Microvan Award two years running in 1990 and 1991 in the Good Van Guide magazine, and it has a solid reputation as a high-performance and economic microvan.

As may be gathered from the fact that a sumo tournament was held in London last year, sumo is extremely popular in the United Kingdom. Being small and powerful, the “SUMO” is probably best symbolized by the sumo wrestler Mainoumi, who goes by the nickname “Mighty Mouse.” The “SUMO” is likely to play an active role in all parts of the United Kingdom from now on too.

(Extracted from Cartopia Vol. 242, issued in July 1992)

Car Environment
Car Life

The “ELCAT” electric car is manufactured in Finland based on the Domingo. Its motor fits nicely into the original rear engine space. Since the freight compartment contains twelve 12V batteries, it is a two-passenger vehicle. The car has a maximum speed of 72 km/h and its running range on a single charging is 130 kilometers at a constant speed of 40 km/h and between 40 - 70 kilometers in city traffic with a lot of stopping and starting. Incidentally, charging is carried out from the socket (220 V) housed inside the front bumper, and it takes 12 hours to fully charge the vehicle. In Finland, this vehicle is used for delivering mail and newspapers and making various shop deliveries and the like. Incidentally, the ELCAT is not on sale in Japan.

(Extracted from the December 1992 edition of Cartopia).

The uniqueness of the Domingo is attracting popularity in Europe, where it has gone on advanced sale

An eco-friendly and rational car
The new Domingo went on advance sale in Europe last autumn and it has already caused quite a stir. Amidst growing awareness of environmental issues, the design philosophy of the Domingo has been recognized by rational-thinking Europeans and the car is gaining attention as an environmentally friendly vehicle. Despite its small size, it has abundant functions. Moreover, it realizes the safety of a 4WD car and fuel economy. This is the one and only Domingo.

Domingo owners’ club exploring broader ways of having fun in Germany
In Germany, the Subaru Libero Club, which is a group of owners who have a special attachment to the Domingo, has conducted special activities for the past seven years. Since the new version Domingo went on sale last autumn, the number of members driving the new model has increased and the club currently has membership of more than a hundred. The club started out as a local group of owners in the Dusseldorf area sharing stories about the Domingo in restaurants and beer halls, however, when the magazine issued by Subaru for owners in Germany carried a nationwide article inviting people to take part in an event of the Libero Club four years ago, it turned out to be a huge success with more than 90 vehicles taking part.

The club’s members range from young single people to retired persons aged 70 years or over. In its early days the club also conducted off-road running events, however, due to concerns over environmental problems and a growing number of families among the membership, it has come to concentrate on camping and other outdoor activities and it also holds a national convention once every year. In addition, it issues a regular club magazine and makes original stickers, sweatshirts and badges. This is indeed a unique club for the Domingo, where one can sense a special kind of attachment to the car among its members.

(Extracted from Cartopia Vol.268 issued July 1994)

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