This paper discusses the development and subsequent validation process of generic multi-body models for commercial vehicle combinations. The model is intended for performance assessment and improving of current and future combinations for the European road network. A second goal is to employ the model for the development of driver support systems and active steering strategies for both low speed manoeuvrability and high speed stability. The model is developed in SimMechanics, which is part of the MATLAB/Simulink software. Due to its modularity, one can quickly modify the model to the desired configuration and dimensions; therefore various multi articulation vehicle models can be created. The paper further illustrates the simplified and generic modelling methods used to build particular components such as chassis, tyres or suspension in the multibody domain. A stepwise approach of the model validation is presented, followed by a sensitivity analysis illustrating the effect of the selected vehicle parameters on particular vehicle states. To conclude, the approach is applied to the validation of the simulation model using measurement data obtained from experimental testing of two different vehicle combinations.