AUTHORITIES IN charge expect to hold a bidding session next month to sell six BMW 7 Series and five Mercedes-Benz cars previously driven by the country’s leaders.
Leaders of the government and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party have agreed that they will no longer drive expensive, luxury cars such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz in an attempt to be more frugal.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and President Bounnhang Vorachit last week returned their BMW 7 Series cars. They now ride in Toyota Camry 2.5 cars, an official at the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of state vehicle affairs told Vientiane Times on Friday.
Vice President Phankham Viphavanh said he would return his BMW 7 Series today (Monday), the official added.
The government last week issued an order to withdraw all BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars that had been purchased for use by individual leaders and in state affairs (carrying blue number plates). The cars will be sold through a bidding process and replaced with cheaper brands such as Toyota.
In total, 36 Mercedes-Benz 15 S-Class and 21 E-Class Mercedes-Benz have been purchased for use in state affairs by central and local departments, such as receiving foreign guests, while some have been provided for high-ranking officials.
Another 11 BMW 7 Series cars were purchased for use by current and former members of the Party Politburo including those who have retired.