The beginning of Auto lao

After the end of the Word War II, The very first Mercedes Benz Cars were imported in what was called the French Indochina, by a French “comptoir” company based in Saigon.

AutoLao showroom

This company distributed a lot of products from France to a merchant from Laos, based in Pakse,(South Laos), Mr Sisouk SISOMBAT. The range of products covered fabrics and gold strings from Lyons, Michelin tires and Peugeot bicycles….

After their defeat in  Dien Bien phu in 1954, the French left Vietnam and this comptoir company resumed its activities progressively till the moment when Mr Sisouk SISOMBAT was proposed to be the sole distributor of all the products and brands distributed by this colonial company for the whole territory of Laos, the then called Kingdom of Laos, that was already independent from France.

Among these products were some automotive brands like Renault, Opel, Chevrolet  and Mercedes-Benz….To run this new business, Mr Sisouk founded the first auto importer in Laos, AUTO LAO in 1957.

The first 190 models ran from Saigon to Pakse through the colonial route in that auspicious year 1957…and reached Vientiane the capital, slightly later on.

Under Mr Sisouk’s distributorship, AUTO LAO made the Mercedes-Benz brand name established in Laos for ever… But to change of political regime in 1975, all activities ceased till 1997 when his son Eric SISOMBAT was appointed representative for Laos .  The new distributor company was set up up in 2004 under the same name, AUTO LAO, to continue to bear high the Mercedes Benz brand name, as from the beginning in 1957