Kelley wholesale blue book

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Trusted vehicle valuations, trade-in, and marketing solutions

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For generations Kelley Blue Book has been the industry-standard for trust and transparency providing vehicle valuations and data-driven solutions that remove the friction from the car buying process.


Kelley Blue Book is the #1 most trusted third-party, automotive brand providing trade-in solutions, vehicle valuation tools and digital marketing and advertising opportunities that connect consumers, automotive dealers and manufacturers.





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Are Kelley Blue Book Values Accurate and Reliable?

When buying or selling a used car, many people rely on the Kelley Blue Book (KBB), which has been around since 1926. One sign of its popularity: Roughly 20 million unique visitors per month log on to the Kelley Blue Book website.

Although automotive experts acknowledge that the Kelley Blue Book is one of the most popular and trusted guides in automotive pricing, the question remains: Is it accurate and reliable? Here’s a look at how Kelley determines car pricing, an assessment of some issues consumers might encounter with KBB pricing, and a brief review of some of the top competitors in the industry.

Key Takeaways

  • The Kelley Blue Book—and its equally popular website—is one of the most trusted guides for automobile pricing, used by those who are buying or selling cars.
  • Kelley assesses the following values: private party value, trade-in value, suggested retail value, and certified pre-owned (CPO) value.
  • Kelley determines Blue Book values by analyzing pricing information from real-world used car prices, as well as industry developments, economic conditions, and location.
  • Potential problems with Blue Book values include a delay as price information is assessed, the consumer tendency to overrate the value of the car they are selling or trading in, and a mismatch between wholesale values listed by Kelley and the prices used by dealers, who access special industry-only pricing info.

How Kelley Blue Book Determines Car Values

Kelley Blue Book receives real-world used car prices on a daily basis from wholesale auctions, independent and franchised dealers, rental fleets, auto manufacturers, lessors, and private party transactions.

Kelley’s proprietary algorithm analyzes pricing data along with historical trends, current economic conditions, industry developments, time of year, and location to determine Kelley Blue Book values.

That process results in the following values for used cars:

  • Private-party value refers to how much you will have to pay for a specific used car from a private seller.
  • Trade-in value is the amount you are likely to get from a dealer for a trade-in.
  • Suggested retail value refers to what dealers are typically asking for a specific used car.
  • Certified pre-owned (CPO) value tells us how much cars covered by the CPO program are worth. 

Some Issues With KBB Pricing

Some factors that could affect the accuracy of KBB values are lag time, consumer bias, and mismatched data.

Lag Time

It takes time for data and analysis to make its way through KBB. Prices listed may not always reflect the very latest trends and economic conditions.

Consumer Bias

Most people think the car they are selling or trading in is in better condition than it really is. If you misjudge the condition of a car for trade-in or purchase, your expectations may not match the reality of KBB’s valuation structure.

Mismatched Data 

Most dealers do not use KBB for trade-in (wholesale) values. Instead, many rely on National Auto Research’s Black Book or the Manheim Market Report, neither of which is available to the public. More important, both tend to skew lower than KBB in wholesale pricing.


The year Les Kelley, a Los Angeles car dealer, published the first Kelley Blue Book.

Solutions for Consumers

If you use KBB as a general guide and follow the suggestions below, Kelley Blue Book data can be very useful.

Print out Definitions

If negotiating to buy a used car from a private seller, show KBB’s car condition definitions to the seller, especially if you believe the car is priced too high. 


KBB’s pricing structure tends to favor dealers, meaning listed retail prices can be higher than other guides. Start with the listed retail price and bargain down. 

Ask for Sources 

Be aware that insider guides like Manheim or Black Book tend to show lower wholesale prices than KBB. Ask about the source of the trade-in offer or wholesale price.

Consult Other Guides 

Consult one or more other websites or pricing guides to get an “average” for the vehicle you are trading in, selling, or planning to buy.

Since the three main consumer guides—KBB,, and NADA—use different algorithms, your best bet is to check all three and calculate an average price.

Additional Resources

The following are several sources you can check for pricing and rating information before buying, trading in, or selling a used car.

Edmunds:This website offers an appraisal engine that includes five car condition categories compared with KBB’s four. This can be helpful—or generate confusion—depending on how realistic you are about your car’s condition. Many experts believe Edmunds' values are more accurate than KBB's. That’s not always the case, of course, which is why getting several estimates and averaging still makes the most sense.

NADA Guides: One of the oldest guides, NADA guides were designed for dealer members of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) trade group. NADA pricing is often higher than Kelley Blue Book since the algorithm has a standard that calls for all trade-ins to be in very clean condition. As a result, you may need to adjust NADA prices down. 

J.D. Power: Although the ratings are only for new cars, the used car search provides dealer pricing based on ZIP code. This information could be valuable if you are planning to sell a car outright and want to know what typical pricing in your area looks like.

Consumer Reports: The well-respected, noncommercial (no advertising accepted) publication offers lots of information if you buy an online subscription, less if you don’t. The website features general pricing on used cars, information on reliability, cars to avoid, and much more.

The Bottom Line

Kelley Blue Book is a very good resource, but it should not be the only one you consult. Although none of the top used car buying guides is perfect, when taken together—along with additional information gained from other websites and tools, such as auto loan calculators—they can provide reasonably reliable and accurate information for your used car transaction.

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Black Book Vs Kelly Blue Book

Black Book Vs Kelly Blue Book Trade In Values

Is there a difference between Black Book Vs Kelley Blue Book trade in values? Are you looking to sell your vehicle or trade it in?

Keep reading to find out all about the 2 main sources for USED Car, Truck and other Vehicle pricing.

  • Kelley Blue Book
  • Black Book and more!!!

CAR DEALERS love to quote Blue Book this and Blue Book that, but what does it really mean?

You might hear things like

  • Blue Book Pricing
  • We sell below Blue Book
  • Get Blue Book value for your trade-in



Black Book is what dealers usually refer to when trying to figure out how much a used vehicle or trade in is worth. Black Book originally began in 1955 literally as a black book containing weekly car values for every vehicle and every region in the country. Today Black Book ( is available via the web or mobile through a paid subscription.

Black Book offers various paid subscription options. The main subscription that Dealers use includes trade in values and information on cars and light trucks. These vehicle appraisals help dealers calculate vehicle leases and used car and truck prices.

  • Four wholesale values based on condition: Extra Clean, Clean, Average and Rough
  • History Adjusted Valuations – a more precise way to appraise vehicles. Instantly understand the impact of a vehicle’s history report on its value.
  • Four retail values based on condition: Extra Clean, Clean, Average and Rough
  • Three trade-in values based on condition: Clean, Average and Rough
  • Finance Advance™ value
  • Value adjustments for mileage and optional equipment
  • Value adjustments for region or state
  • Access auction sales data from over 162 auctions with our Complete Market Report (separate subscription required)
  • Over 32,000 used vehicle values for model years 1981- current.
  • Pull up to 1,000 valuations per month.

Black book offers subscriptions in both print and online and also via a mobile application. Mobile subscriptions start around $65 a month or over $700 annually.

If you want to know what the dealers know when buying a used car, the Black Book mobile application is a great tool to use. Because they offer monthly memberships, it will not cost a ton to be really informed.


While Black Book is mostly used by dealers, Kelley Blue Book (Not spelled Kelly Blue Book without the “e”) is mostly used by individuals looking to trade in or sell their vehicles. Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book has been one of the best-known names in the auto industry. Today, or extends the tradition, with trusted values and a reputation for innovation, including resources to help you research, price and shop for the car you’ve been looking for.

One advantage of using Kelly Blue Book is the service is free without monthly subscriptions.

Kelly Blue Book rates its used car evaluations as

Kelley Blue Book breaks it’s pricing guides into 2 main categories which include the KBB New Car Guide and KBB Used Car Guide.


If you are in the market for a new vehicle, the KBB New Car Guide contains pricing information for the current model year including

  • MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price)
  • Dealer Costs
  • Extra Costs – includes other various costs (Example shipping costs)
  • Pricing Schedules – includes pricing for various options that buyers can select


If you are in the market for a used vehicle, the KBB Used Car Guide contains pricing information for used vehicles made in the last 15 years. The Used Car Guide offers several different prices:

  • Retail Price – also known as the dealer price or what you could expect to pay at a dealer.
  • Trade-In Price – also known as the dealer trade-in value
  • Private Sale Price – Is the price for selling by owner. The Private Sale Price is almost always lower than the Trade-In Price and is a good estimate of what to expect to pay for or sell a used vehicle from a non-dealer.

The Used Car Guild includes various charts and tables for calculating price based on

  • Vehicle Condition
  • Car Mileage
  • Vehicle Options

If you are looking to buy or sell an older vehicle, motorcycle or RV, that information is published separately and may only be available in guidebooks and not via the KBB website.

Historically Kelley Blue Book gathered vehicle cost data information through vehicle auctions, which often can inflate the price compared to how Black Book calculates their trade in and used vehicle prices.


Beyond both Black Book and Kelly Blue Book, another useful tool for figuring out vehicle price is NADA ( National Appraisal Guides, Inc. is the largest publisher of vehicle pricing, information and tools for new and used cars.


As a rule of thumb Kelley Blue Book values are a pretty good indicator to use when buying vehicle from an individual or when selling a vehicle to an individual. The Blue Book values tend to be a little on the high side when buying used vehicles from a dealership or when trading in a vehicle.

Best advice is to do your homework and don’t go into a buying or selling situation blind.

If you happen to be in the Wyoming or Nebraska neighborhood, check out out Fremont Motors for loads of new and used cars, truck and SUVs.


What Are Black Book Car Values?

Black Book Vehicle Pricing. The Black Book is what dealerships typically use to lookup pricing information about new, used car, truck, and recreational vehicle prices. Black Book updates the Dealer invoice and Manufacturers Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) weekly. Dealers also use the Black Book loan values for finance purposes.

Black Book publishes weekly publications in print and online is still going strong today.

What Is The Difference Between Black Book and Kelley Blue Book?

As stated above, the Black Book is what dealers usually refer to when trying to figure out how much a used vehicle or trade in is worth. Consumers will typically use Kelley Blue Book values when estimating new and use vehicle costs.

Is Edmunds Or KBB More Accurate?

In realistic terms both Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds give an approximation of vehicle value based on various sources. Both the Kelley Blue Book and Black Book are generally used when buying a car from a dealership.

What Is The Value Of My Car In Kelley Blue Book?

The Kelley Blue Book is a good estimation of what a car might sell for and how much it is worth. The price doesn’t include warranties and other options that may increase the a cars value. Ultimately the KBB value is often used as a starting point for negotiation and not the final price.

What Does The Black Book Value Mean?

You can think of the Black Book values as an estimated wholesale value of a vehicle that dealers use to ensure profits when buying or selling used cars. From a consumer standpoint, a dealer will always look to make a profit, so you can expect to pay over the Black Book value when buying used and under the Black Book value when trading in or selling your vehicle to a dealer.

Precio de los carros Kelley Blue Book(

Kelley Blue Book Used Pricing Guide

If you ask what your car is worth, you might think the answer would be a simple number — say, $10,000. But in reality, each vehicle has several values, depending upon who is selling and who is buying the vehicle. For example, if you plan to sell your car to an individual — a private party — you can expect to get more money for it than if you plan to trade it in to a dealer.

Why? Because the dealer will take the trade-in and turn around and sell it to another buyer hoping to make some money on that transaction. Private-party buyers generally don't plan to re-sell the cars they buy. Because of factors like these, each used vehicle has a trade-in value, a private party value, and a value that the dealer expects to get when the car is retailed to a new buyer. Vehicles also have an auction value, and new vehicles have a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) that is often the place where purchase negotiations begin.


It is valuable for all parties to have an independent, unbiased source of information for vehicle values because it aids the negotiation and buy-sell processes. Without established vehicle values, each price negotiation would be infinitely more complicated.

For almost a century, Kelley Blue Book is one of several "guide book" companies that have provided that information to those who need it — dealers, financial institutions, insurance companies, and, most recently, consumers. For the pricing information to be of use it must be accurate, if not "penny perfect," and it must be credible. All parties to each transaction must have respect for the information if they are going to rely on it as they negotiate and come to a deal.

Kelley Blue Book values are derived from massive amounts of data, including actual sales transactions and auction prices, which are analyzed and adjusted to account for seasonality and market trends. Because the auto market has significant regional differences, they are also adjusted to reflect local conditions in more than 100 different geographic areas and are updated weekly to give consumers up-to-date used-car pricing information.

To gain all the data necessary, KBB uses several key data sources including wholesale auctions, independent dealers, franchised dealers, and private-party transactions. Traditionally, it has relied heavily on wholesale auctions because those auctions reflect information from key sources including consumers, dealers, financial institutions, rental fleets, and leasing companies.


Kelley Blue Book values are not precise. They are estimates, but they are estimates based on a well-established process, giant amounts of data, and generations of expertise in determining and, in some ways, establishing vehicle values. Kelley Blue Book calls it "a proprietary editorial process." It starts with a thorough analysis of all collected data, and it is informed and "leavened" with historical trends, current economic conditions, industry developments, seasonality, and location.

The values that result from the process, in KBB's words, "reflect the most current representation of a changing marketplace and are therefore relied upon by a variety of leading organizations as well as the average consumer." The overarching goal is to provide a credible guide in an ever-changing buying-and-selling environment that sees thousands of transactions each day.

Mounds of data are used to produce the values Kelley Blue Book quotes, and it is valuable to know what types of data are used in the process. First, there is market demand. Depending on the area in which the vehicle is being sold, relative demand has a major impact on the used vehicle's value. An individual used car sold in New York may be valued differently than the same used car sold in Iowa. A second criterion is the vehicle's condition.

The current state of a used vehicle has a major impact on its value. This, of course, is subject to personal opinion, which is why the values can only be used as a guide rather than being precise. Yet another criterion is the individual car's equipment level — a car with no extras and that same model car with a full array of high-tech and comfort features will have two different values. Finally, there are its age and mileage, which are a proxy for how heavily worn the vehicle is and how close it is to the end of its useful life.


Kelley Blue Book trade-in value is the amount you could expect to receive from the dealer if you traded it in as part of a transaction in which you buy or lease another vehicle. Keep in mind that this assumes an accurate appraisal of the vehicle. In real-world situations, both you and the dealer come to an agreement on the value of the vehicle you are trading in — in reality, selling to the dealer — and that happens at the conclusion of your negotiations with the dealer.

It is also important to note that the trade-in-value is very often less than you would receive if you sold the car yourself to a private individual, and it could be more than you'd get if you sold it outright to a dealer.

The Kelley Blue Book used private-party value is what you can expect to pay if you sold the car to an individual consumer. It is also an approximation of what you might expect to pay if you bought the used car from an independent seller. As with all Kelly Blue Book values, the private-party value is a guide. It can change depending on several factors.

If there is a warranty attached to the vehicle, the dealer's asking price is likely to be higher than the private-party value because warranty coverage has value. Should the vehicle be in excellent condition, that will drive up the price, because the value is predicated on a vehicle in less-than-excellent condition. It is interesting to note Kelley Blue Book estimates that only 3 percent of all used vehicles are in excellent condition.

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The certified preowned value of a value is a used vehicle value that incorporates the fact that the vehicle is offered with a manufacturer-backed warranty rather than as-is, which is the way the typical used vehicle is sold. As we mentioned earlier, warranty coverage offers peace of mind that customers will pay extra for, so the CPO value is universally higher than the private party value.

Retail-oriented values like CPO value take into account dealers' profit, costs for advertising, sales commissions, and other costs of doing business. In the end, Kelley Blue Book used car pricing can serve as a good barometer for buying and selling a vehicle. When used in conjunction with your own independent research, it can ensure that you get a price that is fair.


Book blue kelley wholesale

Kelly Wholesale
Blue Book Value

The Used Car Invoice!

The Kelley wholesale blue book value is by far the most used, of KBB's four used car values, by car dealerships, their used car managers and their finance managers.

It is not only the most important value to dealers, but is the most important value to the consumer as well; although, most consumers don't realize it...But how could they when the car dealers and Kelley keep it such a secret.

This is the value that you'll definitely want to know well if you are looking to get a really good deal on your next used car and to be sure you are getting top dollar for your trade in.

A Car Dealers Magic Number
The wholesale blue book value of a used vehicle, as defined by me, is the maximum cost (after repairs and reconditioning) a dealer wants to own a used car for.

In other words, a dealer would inspect a used car they are considering buying and subtract from the wholesale value all the expected reconditioning costs, transportation costs, etc., plus extra profit and that would be the number they would pay to buy the vehicle.

The Kelly wholesale blue book value is where all the "Magic Happens," so to speak.

Unfortunately for consumers, and to be expected, the wholesale values are not available for free and are only available to subscribers...Usually car dealers and auto lenders.

In fact, when reviewing Kellys website (after clicking on the "Kelly Blue Book Values" link) I could not find any mention of the wholesale value.

The Other Values
Retail, Private Party and Trade In are the other three Kelly Blue Book values and Kelly shares these values for free on their website.

Dealers will occasionally use the retail blue book value, but rarely, if ever, use the last two values.

How The Wholesale Value Is Used
Dealerships use the Kelly wholesale blue book value when buying cars from:

  • The Auction
  • Other Dealers
  • Customers (trade ins)
    and for structuring loans for some of the nations top auto lenders.

From Your Point of View
From a customers stand point, it is so important to know this value, because it gives you a way to figure the ever elusive used car cost of a dealers vehicles.

It also gives you a great way to value your own trade in to be sure you are getting a fair trade in value.

Of course, a dealers cost of a used car will vary from dealer to dealer and car to car, but to get in the ballpark of what this cost is can save you thousands!

It will also help to eliminate those after the sale worries of "Did I get a good deal, or did I just get screwed?"

Once you're done here, I'd highly recommend reading my Used Car Values guide to learn to figure a dealers used car cost.

Two Ways To Figure
The Wholesale Blue Book Value

So how do you go about figuring the Kelly wholesale blue book value? It's actually quite simple and I'll show you two ways to figure it.

Keep in mind that this is not an exact science and may vary from vehicle to vehicle, but will get you really close to the wholesale number...

Method #1

Add the Kelly Private Party Value to the Kelly Trade In Value and divide by two.

Method #2

Figure 75% of the retail blue book value.

That was easy!

Now that you've got the "Magic Number" figured out you can use the wholesale number similar to how you'd use a new cars invoice.

Just like you'd want to buy a new car for invoice, or close to it, you'll want to try and buy used cars for wholesale, or pretty darn close to it. Consider the wholesale value to be a used cars invoice.

There are two things
to keep in mind however:

#1 A new cars invoice does not fluctuate on a weekly basis, up and/or down, like Kellys wholesale blue book value will.

#2 The dealers cost of a used car can vary due to repair(s) or reconditioning costs that were necessary to get the car sale ready.

Keeping those factors in mind, when you use the wholesale number as a used car invoice, it's safer to consider it a "flexible" used car invoice.

Other Cost Factors
There are also other factors that may influence a car dealers cost that may be of great benefit for you to know and those are covered on my Used Car Values page.

All in all, it is important to remember that Kelly Blue Book is just a guide and should be used just like that, a guide.

Even though Kelly is just a guide, knowing the wholesale blue book value of a car you are looking to buy and the ability to roughly figure a car dealers used car cost is some extremely powerful information that gives you a huge upper hand.

After all, the Kelly wholesale blue book value is the number dealers and Kelly work so hard for you not to know and now you know why.

Return from Kelly Wholesale Blue Book Value to KBB Guide

Go to Insider Car Buying Tips home

Former Dealer Explains Why Your Trade is NEVER Worth the Kelley Blue Book Value

Kelley Blue Book

Vehicle valuation and automotive research company

Kelley Blue Book is an Irvine, California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company that is recognized by both consumers and the automotive industry.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] 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 SSNASCAR 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]


  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. ^ abcd"Kelley Blue Book Profile". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  6. ^ ab" 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. ^ abcde"Kelley Blue Book Tests the World Wide Web as a Distribution Source". New York Times. October 28, 1996.
  9. ^ abRobert 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. ^ abcd"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.

External links[edit]


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Q1 2021 Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch Report: SUVs Hit Another Record; Subaru Models Ride the Wave

SUVs dominated again in the first quarter as Subaru Outback and Forester rode that wave, according to the Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch™ report for Q1 2021. Kia gained more than other brands, Ford lost a bit of steam, and Ram returned to a winning streak in terms of factors important to shoppers.

The Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch report is a consumer perception survey that also weaves in consumer shopping behavior to determine how a brand or model stacks up with its segment competitors on a dozen factors key to a consumer’s buying decision. Kelley Blue Book produces a separate Brand Watch report for non-luxury and luxury brands each quarter.

SUVs Shopping Hits Another Milestone

SUVs were the big overall winner in the first quarter. Of all non-luxury vehicle shoppers, a record 67% considered an SUV. That compares with the previous high of 66% in the year-ago quarter and 63% in the final quarter of 2020.

Segment Consideration

Japanese brands dominated SUV shopping. Subaru advanced with significant growth in shopping for the Outback and Forester, both of which were among the Top 5 most-shopped SUVs and Top 10 most-shopped vehicles in total.

The Subaru Outback had the highest increase in shopping consideration of any non-luxury vehicle, up a hefty 34% from the previous quarter. That allowed the Outback to replace Toyota RAV4 as the second most-shopped SUV. The RAV4, which had shopping consideration slip by 5%, dropped to third. The Outback may gain further momentum as Subaru introduces the Outback Wilderness trim package in the second quarter. The Forester had the second-highest increase in shopping consideration, up 18%, which made it the fourth most-shopped SUV. 

Honda CR-V, which had a healthy 9% gain in shopping consideration, retained its title of most-shopped SUV. The Toyota Highlander rounded out the Top 5, even though its shopping consideration slipped by 4%. The Ford Explorer, despite much higher sales in the quarter, fell off the Top 5 shopping list.

Pickup Trucks Take a Breather

Shopping for pickup trucks has been taking a bit of a breather lately after hitting record highs in 2020. In the first quarter, 29% of all non-luxury shoppers considered a pickup truck, the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2019.

Quarterly Non-Luxury Segment Consideration

In the first quarter of 2020, the percentage was 30%. Then the pandemic hit, and manufacturers aggressively promoted zero-percent financing to lure truck buyers out of their pandemic doldrums. Shopping consideration for trucks in the middle of 2020 hit a record of 37% but slipped back to a still-historically high 32% by year-end. 

In the first quarter, trucks were particularly affected by the global computer chip shortage that prompted production cuts at numerous plants and led to a hefty drawdown of inventory. Low supply may have scared off prospective truck shoppers.

Despite a 16% decline in shopping consideration, the Ford F-150 reigned again as the most-shopped truck, followed, as usual, by its archrival Chevrolet Silverado, with its 13% decline in shopping. They were followed by the midsize Toyota Tacoma and Ford Super Duty models. Both had lower shopping considerations. Tacoma was down 11%. Ford Super Duty shopping was off 25%.

The Ram 1500 popped onto the Top 5 pickup truck list. It had been pushed to No. 6 by GMC Sierra in the middle of 2020, but Ram rebounded and GMC Sierra lost steam.

Car Shopping Holds Steady for Now

Shopping consideration for traditional cars stopped their freefall, at least for now. Exactly a third of consumers considering a non-luxury vehicle considered a car, up from 31% in the 2020 fourth quarter but well off the 37% from the year-ago quarter. The first quarter may have seen more interest in new cars because used cars were in short supply and prices were soaring to new heights. Credit was cheap and widely available even to subprime borrowers who may have turned to new cars instead of used ones.

The rise in car shopping and the fall in truck shopping meant cars beat trucks by a tad. The fourth quarter of 2020 marked the first time ever that pickup truck shopping surpassed car shopping.

Still, cars generally remain out of favor. Sales of cars are below a quarter of all vehicles sold. For comparison, in 2018, shopping consideration for cars was just shy of 50%. It has been in decline ever since, hitting a low of 31% in last year’s fourth quarter.

Stalwart midsize cars led. The Top 5 most-shopped cars held mostly steady: Honda Accord, which saw a 2% gain in shopping consideration; Toyota Camry; Honda Civic, which launches in the redesigned form in the second quarter; Toyota Corolla; and Chevrolet Corvette, took the No. 5 spot again in the first quarter from Ford Mustang, which has been No. 6 the last two quarters.

Shopping for minivans eked out an increase as 6% of non-luxury shoppers considered minivans compared with 5% in previous quarters. The slight movement likely is due to the launch of the new Toyota Sienna, now available only as a hybrid.

Indeed, the Sienna was the most-shopped minivan, followed by the Honda Odyssey, Dodge Grand Caravan, which is in sell-down mode, Chrysler Pacifica and Kia Sedona, also in sell-down mode to be replaced with the more SUV-looking Carnival.

Brand Rankings Hold Steady

Brand rankings based on shopping consideration remained relatively steady from last year.

Toyota held onto the top spot with 34% of all shoppers considering a Toyota product. The brand held that percentage even though shopping for the Highlander and Tacoma lost traction. The Prius Prime’s popularity, however, was on the rise.

Quarterly Brand Consideration

Ford kept the No. 2 spot, even though its shopping consideration slipped 2 percentage points due to big falls in shopping consideration for its large pickup trucks.

Honda, Subaru, Nissan and Hyundai eked out shopping gains. Hyundai, with the help of Santa Fe and Palisade, matched GMC for sixth place. Kia also gained, thanks to the popularity of the short-in-supply Telluride SUV. Currently neither Hyundai nor Kia had vehicles in the Top 10 list or in the Top 5 list by category, but it could happen.

Nissan’s 1 percentage point gain may be due to the new Nissan Rogue. Nissan could gain some traction as it has numerous new products coming soon, including a freshened Frontier pickup truck and Pathfinder SUV as well as the all-electric Ariya closer to year-end.

A Car Returns to the Top 10 List

The Top 10 most-considered vehicles represented a good mix of SUVs and pickup trucks with a car returning to the list. 

The Ford F-150 was the most-considered vehicle for the fifth consecutive quarter.  Its competitor, the Chevrolet Silverado, fell to No. 6 from No. 4 in the previous quarter and No. 3 in the year-ago quarter. As for other pickup trucks on the Top 10 list, Ford’s Super Duty trucks ranked No. 10, falling from No. 5 in 2020’s fourth quarter; they weren’t on the top 10 list a year ago. The midsize Toyota Tacoma slipped to No. 8 from No. 6 in the 2020 fourth quarter. 

Top 10 Most-Considered Models

As for SUVs, the Honda CR-V held onto the second most-shopped vehicle, a spot it has held for some time. The biggest movers were from Subaru. The Outback slotted in at No. 3, up from No. 8. The Forester was at No. 5, up from No. 10. Toyota RAV 4 was the fourth most-shopped vehicle, versus third in the previous quarter. Toyota Highlander was No. 7 up from No. 10.

The Honda Accord was the only car on the most-shopped list at No. 9. In the fourth quarter of 2020, not a single car made the Top 10 list for the first time ever.

Toyota, Honda Dominate Electrified Vehicles

Shopping for electrified vehicles – hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs – hit new highs in the first quarter, and sales followed.

Of all shoppers, 19% considered all types of electrified vehicles, just shy of its record of 20% in the third quarter of 2020. The increase was due to more interest in hybrids with 14% of shoppers considering hybrids. The percentage hovered in the 13% to 14% range since the second half of 2020. Among shoppers, 7% considered a pure EV. That number was 6% in the fourth quarter last year after reaching a record high of 8% in the third quarter.

The only EVs on the Top 10 most-shopped electrified list were Tesla vehicles, which fall into the luxury category. The most-shopped EVs were: Model 3, at No. 2; Model Y at No. 5; and Model S at No. 6.

Japanese brands – specifically Toyota and Honda – dominated the rest of the Top 10 list with their hybrids. The Toyota RAV4 hybrid was the most-shopped electrified vehicles followed by Honda CR-V at No. 3, Toyota Highlander at No. 4, Toyota Prius at No. 7, Honda Accord at No. 8, Toyota Camry at No. 9 and Prius Prime at No. 10.

High levels of shopping for electrified vehicles converted into sales with electrified vehicles growing by 81% and hitting 300,000 units for the first time. Of those, pure EVs had a year-over-year gain of 45%, reaching a record of nearly 100,000 sales. Hybrid sales outpaced the overall market and EV sales.

Ram Grabs Top Factor Spots

Rankings for the top eight of 12 factors most important to non-luxury shoppers have remained roughly the same for the past five years. Despite a pandemic recession, Affordability and Fuel Efficiency have become less important over time. Durability/Reliability, Driving Comfort, Reputation, Interior Layout, Technology and Ruggedness remain most important.

Top Factors Most Important to Shoppers

Ram mounted a remarkable comeback in the first quarter. Ram had ranked No. 1 in half of the dozen factors in late 2019 and early 2020 but since then slipped in the ratings.

In the first quarter, Ram jumped from being first in two factors in the fourth quarter of 2020 to being No. 1 in seven categories. Ram took top honors in Driving Comfort, Performance, Interior Layout, Technology, Exterior Styling, Ruggedness, and Prestige/Sophistication. Its pickup trucks and vans stood out for their strength and capability in meeting consumers’ needs.

Subaru lost a bit of momentum in the factors. In 2020’s fourth quarter, Subaru owned two No. 1 spots and held No. 2 spots in eight factors. In the first quarter, Subaru continued to own the Safety space, and held onto three No. 2 spots – Driving Performance, Reputation and Durability/Reliability. Toyota has long owned the most important Durability/Reliability category.

GMC lost its No. 1 rating in Driving Comfort to Ram in the first quarter. However, GMC gained in other categories. It was No. 2 in three factors – Interior Layout, Exterior Styling and Prestige/Sophistication. It was No. 3 in Driving Performance and Technology. GMC may well get a boost in the Technology category when it introduces the all-electric GMC Hummer pickup truck.

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