Simulation offers a quick, controllable and tunable approach for prototyping complex assembly processes in manufacturing environments. In order to improve the responsiveness of production system, this paper proposes a new approach based on data driven modeling and simulation methodology, it can automatically generate the simulation model of production system and realize rapid modification. The generated model also has high efficiency, readability and reusability. The approach is developed for an automotive assembly line. Through the modeling approach of IDEF1X, a data structure of simulation model was constructed, a model simulator was implemented in Arena by VBA program, and then a simulation model for target production system was built automatically through the attribute values in the data structure. The management and control process of assembly line is divided into different levels by hierarchical modeling approach, modeling element and control logic of simulation are separated. The case study of the automotive assembly line demonstrates the validity of data driven modeling and simulation methodology.