Automotive climate control systems are evolving at a rapid pace to meet the overall vehicle requirements and the user expectations for comfort and convenience. This poses a challenge in the product development life cycle of multi-platform vehicle systems with respect to development time and optimal performance in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system.This paper proposes rapid HVAC plant model design and development using simplified one-dimensional (1D) simulation models for fast simulations. The specific accuracy limitations of such a simplified model are overcome using limited three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (3D CFD) modelling.User-level control strategy is developed in an integrated simulation environment that includes a reference 1D model and a control algorithm simulator. The simulation data is used to study and analyse the temperature and airflow distribution in the system. Based on these results, simpler models for the HVAC system are derived. In this paper, two approaches to derive simple models are discussed, namely mathematical regression analysis and physical system modelling. The system may then be tuned based on simplified simulations.This paper concludes that carefully designed yet simple models for temperature and air distribution will help in optimizing the control strategy quickly to achieve better passenger comfort and convenience.