Laos’ Communist leaders say goodbye to their luxury cars

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The government in Laos will hold a bidding session in February to sell off its fleet of German luxury cars used to chauffeur the nation’s leaders around the country, including the prime minister, the president and high-ranking officials of the Politburo.

The move comes as Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith attempts to reign in corruption in the impoverished nation where high-ranking officials have used the amenities of free rides with 7-series BMWs and S-class Mercedes-Benz.

“We agreed to return the luxury cars to the state and sell them by auction, as the costs of each can cover three ordinary cars for officials,” Thongloun said, adding that the decision was not intended as a “punishment,” but is an effort to make the government operate more efficiently and signal that the Communist leadership is becoming more frugal.

The Lao government fleet currently contains 30 Mercedes-Benz automobiles, of which five are S-class or E-class automobiles, and eleven 7-series BMWs, according to an article in the Vientiane Times.

BMW 7-series and S-class Mercedes retail for around $100,000 in the US. The E-class Mercedes runs from around $53,000 to about $65,000 in the U.S. In comparison, the minimum wage in Laos is about $110 per month.

After the cars are auctioned off, they will be replaced by Toyota Camrys. Politburo members are entitled to drive a Toyota Camry 3.0, ministers are entitled to a Camry 2.5, and deputy ministers may drive a Camry 2.0, a government decree said. A top-of-the-line Camry V6 costs about $32,000.

 

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The government in Laos will hold a bidding session in February to sell off its fleet of German luxury cars used to chauffeur the nation's leaders around the country, including the prime minister, the president and high-ranking officials of the Politburo. The move comes as Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith attempts to reign in corruption in the impoverished nation where high-ranking officials have used the amenities of free rides with 7-series BMWs and S-class Mercedes-Benz. “We agreed to return the luxury cars to the state and sell them by auction, as the costs of each can cover three ordinary cars...

Reading Time: 1 minute

The government in Laos will hold a bidding session in February to sell off its fleet of German luxury cars used to chauffeur the nation’s leaders around the country, including the prime minister, the president and high-ranking officials of the Politburo.

The move comes as Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith attempts to reign in corruption in the impoverished nation where high-ranking officials have used the amenities of free rides with 7-series BMWs and S-class Mercedes-Benz.

“We agreed to return the luxury cars to the state and sell them by auction, as the costs of each can cover three ordinary cars for officials,” Thongloun said, adding that the decision was not intended as a “punishment,” but is an effort to make the government operate more efficiently and signal that the Communist leadership is becoming more frugal.

The Lao government fleet currently contains 30 Mercedes-Benz automobiles, of which five are S-class or E-class automobiles, and eleven 7-series BMWs, according to an article in the Vientiane Times.

BMW 7-series and S-class Mercedes retail for around $100,000 in the US. The E-class Mercedes runs from around $53,000 to about $65,000 in the U.S. In comparison, the minimum wage in Laos is about $110 per month.

After the cars are auctioned off, they will be replaced by Toyota Camrys. Politburo members are entitled to drive a Toyota Camry 3.0, ministers are entitled to a Camry 2.5, and deputy ministers may drive a Camry 2.0, a government decree said. A top-of-the-line Camry V6 costs about $32,000.

 

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