Kelley Blue Book

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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 Les 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] Kelley Blue Book was formed in 1926, and the Kelley family continued its dealership business in Southern California for several decades.[1][4][7] By the 1960s, the company moved from a car dealership to a specialty publisher and focused on the production of its automobile price guide.[4]

In 1995, Kelley Blue Book created its company website, which contained tips and pricing information from its hardcopy guide.[8]

In December 2010, Kelley Blue Book was purchased by[1][2][9] After its acquisition, the company operated as a subsidiary of, Inc.[10]

In 2013, the company formed an alliance with Bitauto Holdings Ltd. to expand into China.[11]

In 2014, Kelley Blue Book signed a two-year agreement with Hendrick Motorsports to be a primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Chevrolet SS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.[12][13]


The company reports market value prices for new and used automobiles of all types, as well as motorcycles.[14] For both new and used automobiles, KBB provides a Fair Market Range and Fair Purchase Price, based on actual transactions of what others are paying for a vehicle and adjusted regularly as market conditions change.[15][16] For new automobiles, KBB also provides information about a car's MSRP and dealer invoice price.[17] For used cars, KBB provides retail value, certified pre-owned value, trade-in value and private party value.[18][19] Kelley Blue Book also offers expert and consumer vehicle reviews and ratings, and 5-Year Cost to Own information for new cars.[20][21]


In 2012-2014, Harris Poll recognized Kelley Blue Book as the Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year.[22][23] In addition, the company received a WebAward in the automotive category of Outstanding Website for two consecutive years.[24]


  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 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. ^ Kristen Schott (26 October 2010). " buys Kelley Blue Book". OC Metro. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Shira Ovide (October 26, 2010). "Kelley Blue Book Sold at Near-Mint Condition". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Clough, Richard (November 9, 2013). "Kelley Blue Book to expand into China". The Orange County Register. p. Business 1. 
  12. ^ "First-time NASCAR sponsor joins Earnhardt's No. 88". 13 February 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Kelley Blue Book to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr.". Hendrick Motorsports. 13 February 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Kirsti Correa (March 1, 2012). "Irvine-based Kelley Blue Book partners with Cyclechex to offer used-motorcycle information". OC Metro. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  15. ^ "KBB Launches Price Advisor Tool". F&I Magazine. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Kelley Blue Book Debuts New Car Pricing Tool". Socal Tech. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  17. ^ Kelley adds certification to its used-vehicle listings. Automotive News. June 24, 2002. 
  18. ^ "KBB Report: Fair Purchase Price Data Shows Vehicle Segments Worth Buying Used". Business Fleet. 19 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "KBB Rolls Out Range-Based Pricing for Used Values". Auto Remarketing. 20 May 2014. 
  20. ^ Jonathan Welsh (30 July 2012). "Kelley Blue Book Launches First Consumer TV Ads (Video)". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  21. ^ Mackenna Waterhouse (31 July 2012). "Kelley Blue Book launches national television ad campaign". OC Metro. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend Rankings". Harris Interactive. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  23. ^ " Earns Brand of the Year Three Years Running". Yahoo! Finance. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  24. ^ Kara Vaporean (October 3, 2012). "Kelley Blue Book wins WebAward for second consecutive year". OC Metro. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 

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