Kelley Blue Book

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Kelley Blue Book
IndustryInformation services, E-commerce software, Automotive
HeadquartersIrvine, California
Key peopleLes Kelley, Buster Kelley, Jared Rowe
ParentAutoTrader Group, LLC
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"KBB" redirects here. For the band, see KBB (band). For the record label, see KBB Records.
Kelley Blue Book
IndustryInformation services, E-commerce software, Automotive
HeadquartersIrvine, California
Key peopleLes Kelley, Buster Kelley, Jared Rowe
ParentAutoTrader 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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