Production of the Tiger I began in August 1942 at the factory of Henschel und Sohn in Kassel, initially at a rate of 25 per month and peaking in April 1944 at 104 per month. 1,355 had been built by August 1944, when production ceased. Deployed Tiger I's peaked at 671 on 1 July 1944. It took about twice as long to build a Tiger I as another German tank of the period. When the improved Tiger II began production in January 1944, the Tiger I was soon phased out. Eager to make use of the powerful new weapon, Hitler ordered the vehicle be pressed into service months earlier than had planned.