Kelley Blue Book

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"KBB" redirects here. For the band, see KBB (band). For the record label, see KBB Records.
Kelley Blue Book
Type Private
Industry Information services, E-commerce software, Automotive
Headquarters Irvine, California
Key people Les Kelley, Buster Kelley, Jared Rowe
Parent AutoTrader Group, LLC

Kelley Blue Book is an automotive vehicle valuation company headquartered in Irvine, California.[1][2][3][4][5]


The company began as the Kelley Kar Company founded by Leslie Kelley in 1918.[1][4][6] Kelley started the company with three Model T Fords.[7] His younger brother, Buster, worked with Kelley as a lot boy.[7] By using data collected from the dealership, Kelley published the company’s first Blue Book in 1926, which became a standard guide in automotive trade in determining car value.[4][5][7] The name of Kelley Kar Co. was changed to Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. in the same year.[1][4][7] By the 1960s, the company moved from a car dealership to a specialty publisher and focused on the annual production of its automobile price guide.[4]

In 1996, the Kelley Blue Book created its company website, which contained the tips and pricing guides from its hardcopy guide.[4]

In December 2010, Kelley Blue Book was purchased by[1][2][8] After its acquisition, the company operated as a subsidiary of, Inc.[9]

In 2013, the company formed an alliance with Bitauto Holdings Ltd. to expand into China.[10]


The company reports market value prices for new and used automobiles of all types, as well as motorcycles.[11] For new automobiles, KBB provides information about a car’s MSRP, dealer invoice price, and a vehicle's New Car Blue Book Value; what others are paying for a new car this week.[4] For used cars KBB provides factory certification, retail value, trade-in value, and private party value.[4][8][12]


In 2012 and 2013, Harris Poll recognized Kelley Blue Book as the Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year.[13] In addition, the company received a WebAward in the automotive category of Outstanding Website for two consecutive years.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d "Kelley Blue Book Profile". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b " Buys Kelley Blue Book". Wall Street Journal. October 26, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ Hirsch, J. (September 22, 2011). Kelley blue book warns of impostor website. Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Kelley Blue Book Tests the World Wide Web as a Distribution Source. New York Times. October 28, 1996. 
  5. ^ a b Robert Duffer (May 21, 2013). "Fuel-efficient vehicles fill out best family cars list for 2013". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  6. ^ Jeff Glucker (May 26, 2011). "Kelley Blue Book has a new look". Auto. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d Used-car innovator invented the 'blue book'. The Globe and Mail. December 11, 2001. 
  8. ^ a b Shira Ovide (October 26, 2010). "Kelley Blue Book Sold at Near-Mint Condition". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  9. ^ Li, S. (October 27, 2010). AutoTrader plans to buy kelley blue book; terms of the deal, which requires regulatory approval, are not disclosed. LA Times. 
  10. ^ Clough, Richard (November 9, 2013). "Kelley Blue Book to expand into China". The Orange County Register. p. Business 1. 
  11. ^ Kirsti Correa (March 1, 2012). "Irvine-based Kelley Blue Book partners with Cyclechex to offer used-motorcycle information". OC Metro. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ Kelley adds certification to its used-vehicle listings. Automotive News. June 24, 2002. 
  13. ^ "2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend Rankings". Harris Interactive. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  14. ^ Kara Vaporean (October 3, 2012). "Kelley Blue Book wins WebAward for second consecutive year". OC Metro. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 

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