It actually means both. I was referring to both limiting the production of limited editions as well as in some cases standard production pieces.
I wasn't referring to specific brands, but I definitely wasn't referring to PP, AP or VC. That said I think other brands like JLC for instance would benefit from such a move. While I don't see the pieces being more exclusive as entirely a way to broaden appeal or increase sales, though I think that's a definite possibility from such a move, it would in many cases likely allow brands in some cases to be able to limit discounting and thus make more of a margin.
Well, each specific brand has a specific problem. The downward market shift is just forcing them to each bear with reality.
JLC will likely have to bring down prices and rationalize its model line-up. They have always been more of a volume, value-for-money player. High-end, haute horologie exclusivity is not in their DNA--despite where they have tried to push and market themselves. I don't understand who's buying $30k+ JLCs. Hell, I barely understand the market for JLCs at $20K or $15K a piece.
AP suffers from a crack-cocaine addiction to the Royal Oak. That single model has become nearly synonymous with the brand and, unfortunately, the company seems happy enough to fuel short-term gains by marketing ever-multiplying variations and limited editions. Needless to say, this practice is terribly corrosive to long-term brand equity. People talk about the "trinity" of Patek, VC and AP--but realistically, when was the last time anyone ever gave a second thought to AP's Jules Audemars model, their only "normal" dress model? When all the irrational exuberance dies down, so will the love party for the thousands of Royal Oak variations, which are mere novelties. Then what for AP? Luxury consumers won't be buying anymore of the latest carbon fiber Royal Oak Offshore, yet more classic-minded collectors haven't considered a new AP in years, if not decades.