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Initially he resisted, but the T's sagging market share finally forced him to admit a replacement was needed.

When he finally agreed to begin development of this new model, he focused on the mechanical aspects and on what today is called design for manufacturability (DFM), which he had always strongly embraced and for which the Model T production system was famous.

Henry's disdain for cosmetic vanity as applied to automobiles led him to leave the Model A's styling to a team led by his son Edsel, even though he would take credit for it despite his son doing more of the work.

It was during the period from the mid-1920s to early 1930s that the limits of the first generation of mass production, epitomized by the Model T production system's rigidity, became apparent. The Model A was well represented in media of the era since it was one of the most common cars.

This served as the basis for the FAI and BA-20 armored cars which saw use as Soviet scout vehicles in the early stages of World War II.

In addition to the United States, Ford made the Model A in plants in Argentina, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.

By February 4, 1929, one million Model As had been sold, and by July 24, two million. The Model A had a 103.5 in (2,630 mm) wheelbase with a final drive ratio of 3.77:1.

Eventually, Ford's engineers persuaded him to relent, lest the Model A's production cost force up its retail price too much.

Also, features Henry Ford considered to be unnecessary, such as electric starters, were gradually shifting in the public's perception from luxuries to essentials.

Ford's sales force recognized the threat and advised Henry to respond to it.

The Model A came in a wide variety of styles including a Coupe (Standard and Deluxe), Business Coupe, Sport Coupe, Roadster Coupe (Standard and Deluxe), Convertible Cabriolet, Convertible Sedan, Phaeton (Standard and Deluxe), Tudor Sedan (Standard and Deluxe), Town Car, Fordor (five-window standard, three-window deluxe), Victoria, Town Sedan, Station Wagon, Taxicab, Truck, and Commercial.

The very rare Special Coupe started production around March 1928 and ended mid-1929.

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The Model A's fuel tank was situated in the cowl, between the engine compartment's fire wall and the dash panel.