Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc., began as the Kelley Kar Company, a Los Angeles-based car dealership, in 1918. The dealership was founded by Les Kelley, an Arkansas-born businessman who started the dealership with three used Model T Fords and one employee, his 13-year-old brother Buster.

In order to obtain inventory, he began circulating lists of cars he wanted to acquire along with the price he was willing to pay for them. The price lists quickly became a trusted standard among Los Angeles area banks and car dealers.

In 1926, he published his first Kelley Blue Book, a guide to used car values. The service was primarily regional until the 1940s. In the years immediately following World War II, a large number of returning serviceman and the pent-up demand caused by four years of wartime rationing caused a huge spike in the demand for cars. Since most car companies had yet to retool from wartime production, the price of used cars skyrocketed. During this time, Kelley Blue Book expanded to become a nationwide automobile appraisal guide.

Kelley Blue Book steadily expanded its scope over the years. New-car appraisals were added in 1966. In the years following, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, and mobile home appraisal guides were added to company's list of services.

Kelley Blue Book guides were primarily trade publications until 1993 when a consumer edition of Kelley Blue Book was launched. The company began its website service in 1995 and has become one of the most visited automobile related sites in the Internet. Although Kelley Blue Book is now a highly-visited source of vehicle market values by Internet shoppers, does not back their pricing valuations with any type of guarantee or consumer protection like Carfax or other companies. Their valuations greatly differ from those of "Black Book", Galves Auto Price List and Manheim trade values, which often causes dissention when auto shoppers negotiate with dealerships for the actual market values of their trade vehicles.

Kelley Blue Book was edited by Les Kelley's nephew Kelley L. Ross until 1980.

Source: Wikipedia

Date published: Apr 10, 2009


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