The average new car price hit a record $45,000 in September

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As new vehicle sales continue to decline, sale prices keep going up.

U.S. auto sales were 3.4 million in the third quarter of 2021, down 13 percent from the same period a year ago. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A new study from Kelly Blue Book found that the average price paid for a vehicle in September it an all-time record of $45,031 as discounts dwindle and buyers in the market gravitate toward high-end models.

"The record-high prices in September are mostly a result of the mix of vehicles sold," Cox Automotive analyst Kayla Reynolds said.

"Midsize SUV sales jumped in September compared to August and full-size pickup share moved up as well. Sales of lower-priced compact and midsize cars, which had been commanding more share during the summer, faded in September. As long as new-vehicle inventory remains tight, we believe prices will remain elevated."

It was the sixth-straight record month, according to KBB's data.

The automotive industry has been plagued with parts supply issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic leading many to prioritized production of their high priced, profitable models.

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Cadillac has been leading the way on the back of its redesigned Escalade SUV which has helped drive the brand's average sale price up 51.2% compared to September 2020, while Tesla has held the steadiest with a 1.5% increase over last year despite initiating several significant price hikes on its volume models this year.

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