BERLIN -- German automakers face possibly months of uncertainty before they know the direction the country's new government will take on the industry.
Olaf Scholz of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) defeated Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in an extremely tight German general election on Sunday. It will likely take months of negotiations for a new coalition government to be formed.
Based on the election results, coalition options include a government led by Scholz with the Green Party and the Free Democrats (FDP), or an alliance led by Armin Laschet of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, also with the Greens and FDP.
The SPD, Germany's oldest party, won 25.7 percent of the vote, up five percentage points from the 2017 federal election, ahead of the CDU/CSU bloc on 24.1 percent. The Greens came in with 14.8 percent and the FDP won 11.5 percent.
The SPD or the CDU will need a three-way coalition to govern, meaning the Greens and the FDP will hold considerable leverage during negotiations.
German shares rose on Monday, with investors pleased that the pro-business FDP looked likely to join the next government while the far-left Linke failed to win enough votes to be considered as a coalition partner.
"From a market perspective, it should be good news that a left-wing coalition is mathematically impossible," said Jens-Oliver Niklasch, LBBW economist, adding that other parties had enough in common to find a working compromise.