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Change of management at AZT

The year 2024 begins with a change in the AZT management.


January 2024


The history of AZT's management shows that innovative thinking and continuity are not a contradiction in terms. In the 52 years of the company's existence, Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser was only the third Managing Director of the AZT after AZT founder Prof. Dr. Max Danner (Managing Director AZT from 1971 to 1992) and his successor Prof. Dr. Dieter Anselm (Managing Director AZT from 1993 to 2007) and has very successfully managed the Allianz research centre since 2007. 

He continued important topics in the AZT such as repair research, crash tests and the AZT paint calculation system and took up new aspects in the dynamic field of automotive technology such as assisted driving, electromobility or IT security in vehicles and continuously developed these further together with the AZT team. In addition, Christoph Lauterwasser always wanted AZT to be an integral part of the automotive and repair industry and to advance the various issues wherever possible in dialogue with industry partners and to share expert knowledge. During his time in office, road safety issues were also regularly addressed in public and corresponding exchange formats such as the Allianz Autotag were established. 


Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser (Managing Director of the AZT from 2007 to 2024)


As already announced at the 11th Allianz Motor Day, Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser, who will remain part of the AZT team until the end of April 2024, will now officially hand over the baton to his successor Dr. Christian Sahr with effect from January 1st 2024. As mechanical engineering graduate specialising in automotive engineering, he completed his doctorate in the field of vehicle body development and most recently spent several years heading up the vehicle business unit at FEV Europe GmbH, a leading global engineering service provider in vehicle and powertrain development and digital mobility. "In Christian Sahr, we have found a very good successor for the management of AZT, who has the relevant expertise and industry knowledge. I wish him and the entire AZT team all the best and every success for the tasks ahead," said Christoph Lauterwasser to his successor. Christian Sahr has already been part of AZT for six months and has been able to gain a good overview of his future field of activity. "I am joining a very well organised team. I would like to thank you for the warm welcome and look forward to continuing and further developing the AZT's topics together with the employees, customers and partners." 


Dr. Christian Sahr (Managing Director of the AZT since January 1st 2024)


At the same time, the management of AZT is becoming more diverse: Dr. Stefanie van den Bergh, Head of Central Functions in the Claims Division of Allianz Versicherungs-AG, is taking on the role of the second AZT Managing Director. Stefanie van den Bergh replaces Christopher Iwanowski, who has taken on the role of Chief General Manager Transformation at Allianz Australia. "I would like to thank Christoph Lauterwasser for his fantastic work for and with AZT over the last 16 years. He has continuously expanded and improved AZT's pioneering role in mobility research. And I am very much looking forward to the coming years of collaboration and further development of the AZT with Christian Sahr," said Stefanie van den Bergh.


Dr. Stephanie van den Bergh (Head of Central Functions in the Claims Department of Allianz Versicherungs-AG and second Managing Director of AZT since January 1st 2024)


There will be a press conference for interested journalists on the change in AZT management on February 7. We will report on this accordingly. If you are interested, please contact florian.kitzmann (at)