Kelley Blue Book

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Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc.
Company typeSubsidiary of Cox Automotive
IndustryInformation services, E-commerce software, Automotive
Founded1918; 106 years ago (1918) (as The Kelley Kar Company)
1926; 98 years ago (1926) (as Kelley Blue Book)
FounderLes Kelley
HeadquartersIrvine, California, U.S.
Key people
Les Kelley, Founder
Buster Kelley
Steve Lind, President[1]
ParentCox Automotive[2]

Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a vehicle valuation and automotive research company which is recognized by both consumers and the automotive industry.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Based in Irvine, California, the company is owned by the Cox Automotive subsidiary of Cox Enterprises.


The company began as the Kelley Kar Company founded by Les Kelley in 1918.[5][8][10] Kelley started the company with three Model T Fords.[11] His younger brother, Buster, worked with Kelley as a lot boy.[11] 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.[8][9][11] Kelley Blue Book was formed in 1926, and the Kelley family continued its dealership business in Southern California for several decades.[5][8][11] By the 1960s, the company moved from a car dealership to a specialty publisher and focused on the production of its automobile price guide.[8] Kelley Blue Book guide became the first publication to use mileage to determine a car's value.[citation needed]

In 1995, Kelley Blue Book created its company website, which contained tips and pricing information from its hardcopy guide.[12]

In December 2010, Kelley Blue Book was purchased by[5][6][13] After its acquisition, the company operated as a subsidiary of, Inc.[14]

In 2013, the company formed an alliance with Bitauto Holdings Ltd. to expand into China.[15]


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.[16][17]


The company reports market value prices for new and used automobiles of all types, as well as motorcycles, snowmobiles and personal watercraft.[18] For both new and used automobiles, Kelley Blue Book 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.[19][20] For new automobiles, Kelley Blue Book also provides information about a car's MSRP and dealer invoice price.[21] For used cars, Kelley Blue Book provides typical listing price, certified pre-owned price, trade-in value and private party value.[22][23] Kelley Blue Book also offers expert and consumer vehicle reviews and ratings, and 5-year cost to own information for new cars.[24][25]


In 2012–2014, Harris Poll recognized Kelley Blue Book as the Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year.[26][27] In addition, the company received a WebAward in the automotive category of Outstanding Website for two consecutive years.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christopher Seward (5 August 2014). "New presidents named for, Kelley Blue Book". Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  2. ^ Fred Meier (21 August 2014). "Cox creates wholesale, retail auto sales giant". USA Today. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  3. ^ Sabah Karimi (10 September 2014). "7 Things You Must Do Before Buying a Used Car". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  4. ^ "KBB: Chevrolet Impala tops comfortable cars list". Florida Times-Union. 22 August 2014. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Kelley Blue Book Profile". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on November 22, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  6. ^ a b " Buys Kelley Blue Book". Wall Street Journal. October 26, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  7. ^ Hirsch, J. (September 22, 2011). "Kelley blue book warns of impostor website". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Kelley Blue Book Tests the World Wide Web as a Distribution Source". New York Times. October 28, 1996.
  9. ^ a b Robert Duffer (May 21, 2013). "Fuel-efficient vehicles fill out best family cars list for 2013". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on February 24, 2014. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  10. ^ Jeff Glucker (May 26, 2011). "Kelley Blue Book has a new look". Auto. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d "Used-car innovator invented the 'blue book'". The Globe and Mail. December 11, 2001.
  12. ^ Kristen Schott (26 October 2010). " buys Kelley Blue Book". OC Metro. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  13. ^ Shira Ovide (October 26, 2010). "Kelley Blue Book Sold at Near-Mint Condition". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Clough, Richard (November 9, 2013). "Kelley Blue Book to expand into China". The Orange County Register. p. Business 1.
  16. ^ "First-time NASCAR sponsor joins Earnhardt's No. 88". 13 February 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  17. ^ "Kelley Blue Book to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr". Hendrick Motorsports. 13 February 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  18. ^ Kirsti Correa (March 1, 2012). "Irvine-based Kelley Blue Book partners with Cyclechex to offer used-motorcycle information". OC Metro. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  19. ^ "KBB Launches Price Advisor Tool". F&I Magazine. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  20. ^ "Kelley Blue Book Debuts New Car Pricing Tool". Socal Tech. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  21. ^ "Kelley adds certification to its used-vehicle listings". Automotive News. June 24, 2002.
  22. ^ "KBB Report: Fair Purchase Price Data Shows Vehicle Segments Worth Buying Used". Business Fleet. 19 February 2013.
  23. ^ "KBB Rolls Out Range-Based Pricing for Used Values". Auto Remarketing. 20 May 2014.
  24. ^ Jonathan Welsh (30 July 2012). "Kelley Blue Book Launches First Consumer TV Ads (Video)". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  25. ^ Mackenna Waterhouse (31 July 2012). "Kelley Blue Book launches national television ad campaign". OC Metro. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  26. ^ "2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend Rankings". Harris Interactive. Archived from the original on October 5, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  27. ^ " Earns Brand of the Year Three Years Running". Yahoo! Finance. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  28. ^ Kara Vaporean (October 3, 2012). "Kelley Blue Book wins WebAward for second consecutive year". OC Metro. Retrieved September 24, 2013.

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