Chau’s Automotive (est. 1995)

Chau’s Automotive did not necessarily begin in the United States.  It started in a small city called Thot Not in the Can Tho province in Mekong Delta of Vietnam.  Mr. Liet Chau has been working on cars ever since he could spell and solve math problems.  Before the opening of Chau’s Automotive, Mr. Chau was a co-owner of and mechanic for Viet Long Auto Repair & Body (est. 1987) on Dana St. and W. San Carlos St..

The front of Viet Long Auto Repair and Body shop (est. 1987)

Like many Vietnamese American families resettling in the US, the Chau family came as refugees by boat in the early 80s.  After the “Fall of Saigon” in April 1975, the Chau family decided to risk their lives and leave everything behind: their families, their belongings, and their life there to start anew here in the United States.  Even though this marked a kind of ending of their life in Vietnam, it also represented a bright beginning in America.

The Chau family first resettling in East Palo Alto, CA

Baby Son, Mr. and Mrs. Chau’s youngest son, shooting in a tire

Upon arriving to the shop, you will witness the family’s living and moving history as Mr. Chau’s wife, his four sons, as well as his close friends often are there helping their small business flourish.  Our business is not simply a business, but rather a community, an extension of our own home.

Friends and early supporters of The Chau’s and their business

We invite you to enter our history, our home to share your own stories with us so we can move forward together; push down that gas pedal, but also remember to look behind, or at least the rear view mirror and see we are all driving on the same road.  Although we all might be traveling from and to different directions, we ultimately are moving together–wherever it may be.

Mr. Chau in the late 80’s

Meet the Business Owner and Lead Mechanic: Liet Chau


Mr. Liet Chau and his family emigrated as refugees (also considered as “boat people”) in the early 80s from Vietnam, and now are living in the beautiful neighborhood of Willow Glen.  For almost 30 years, the Chau family has been providing auto repair/care services to the Willow Glen and downtown community.  He has a wife named Hinh and four sons: Thanh, Thuan, Thao, and Son, all of whom help out at the shop.  Many of his lifelong friends who he met during their journey to America often come by to visit.

Mr. Liet Chau has been working on cars ever since he was nine years old with his father at their auto repair shop in Thot Not, Vietnam.  For example, everyday after school he would walk to his father’s shop to assist him in providing auto repair services on motor bikes and cars for the few who had the privilege of owning one at that time.

He works incredibly hard to support his family, and is genuine, honest, fair, and caring toward his customers.  For instance, he would often emphasize the “an toàn” (meaning “safety” in Vietnamese) and the well-being of not only his family, but also his customers–who he too considers his family.