After some quick research on new air springs it seems very difficult to get. I have a supplier in germany for new parts, and what makes the alarm bells go off is that these parts are no longer available through the Renault network in Germany.
Are we passing the point of sudden death on parts for our Espaces now ?
My contact in germany also says parts for other older Renaults are getting more and more limited, historically Renault has always been good on supplying parts for older cars. This seems to have changed (unless its a Germany Renault policy issue).
Although i was able to track down some new air springs in Latvia, it was too late (and costly) and ive already decided to convert into spring suspension as a 2002 2.2dCi became available as a donor car (i can fill in with some pictures of the conversion later, its already done now).
Anyone else experienced serious part issues ?
Its dependant on the parts, I'm currently going through a similar issue with my (nearly) 20 year old Clio where some parts are almost impossible to get hold of and others (shockingly) are available. For example, I found a complete Renault Clio Williams carpet available and infrared sensors available for the central locking, but the rear storage container isn't available any more (And I'm still looking for one if anyone knows where to get it). I've read in an auction that the infrared remotes are also becoming hard to find. It is to be expected for a vehicle of that age as I believe the way the parts are produced is the factor. When it comes down to parts, I think you need to consider the likelihood of it failing and how many you need to support the cars for their lifetime, around 10 years.
Part problems aren't unique to Renaults, most manufacturers have this problem because of the way mass cars are produced. Considering you are launching new models constantly, you need to think "How do I produce, store and distribute the parts?", answer is warehousing, but how much warehousing can you go before it consumes your budget? Or worse, take up too much space on this earth (so there is the environmental impact.)
We already have part of the answer depending how some bits are built, that is 3D printing which is currently used now, but will the manufacturers adopt it and will they be willing to store several terabytes of files on a hard drive when they have to buy a new one every time a model launches? Having said that, a new hard drive is cheaper than extending a warehouse. New server hard drive maybe a few hundred quid.
A few thoughts for you.