In the early 1920s, General Motors President Alfred P. Sloan asked Ralph Lane Polk II to impartially tabulate and publish automotive statistics, according to Polk's Web site. Polk soon took on the role of an "automotive information and solutions provider" when it published the first Passenger Car Registration Report covering 58 makes and accounting for 9.2 million passenger vehicles, the Web site said.
Stephen Polk is the grandson of Ralph Polk II.
The company employs 425 people at its suburban Detroit headquarters and 1,268 worldwide.
"What I had to tell my staff here [was] they need to be very proud of what they've been able to do. I can't take credit for the success that we've had. That's the people that work here," Stephen Polk said. "I think they should be proud of what they've done. The recognition from a business like IHS, which is going to actually augment what we already do, it's new analytical capabilities, new data and other things that will make what we do better going forward."
Polk has offices in Long Beach, Calif.; Woodcliff Lake, N.J.; Centreville, Va.; Canada; England; France; Germany; Spain; Italy; Australia; China; and Japan.
Bill Shea of Crain's Detroit Business and Reuters contributed to this report.