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Company News: Kia, Smith & Wesson, American Airlines, Orbitz, Volvo, Zhejiang Geely, Under Armour, Nike

Kia Motors (000270:KS) said it will build a $1 billion assembly plant in Mexico near the U.S. border, joining a host of rivals seeking low-cost labor close to American dealers. Plans for $9 billion worth of car plants in Mexico have been announced in the past 20 months. Thanks to new foreign-owned factories, the country is expected to produce 3 million vehicles this year, passing Brazil in car manufacturing.

• The U.S. gun market continues to cool off after a record 2013. In its most recent quarter, Smith & Wesson (SWHC) sales plummeted 23 percent to $132 million. The company blamed the slump on a production glut and stores stocked with unwanted models. It said its fortunes should rebound with stronger demand during this fall’s hunting season and more manufacturing discipline.

American Airlines (AAL) stopped selling tickets on Orbitz Worldwide (OWW) websites as it pressed for lower booking fees. The airline said it would take a similar step with its US Airways brand, as it struggles to compete with discount carriers that skip distributors like Orbitz entirely.

Volvo unveiled the XC90 SUV, which it hopes will reverse a decade-long swoon in U.S. sales. The vehicle will go on sale next year for about $49,000. It’s the automaker’s first model in 15 years that doesn’t include parts from Ford Motor (F), which sold the company in 2010 to China’s Zhejiang Geely.

Under Armour (UA) is trying to get its basketball shoes on Kevin Durant, as the NBA MVP’s long-term contract with Nike (NKE) comes to a close. The Baltimore-based apparel giant is offering a 10-year deal valued at up to $285 million. Durant-endorsed footwear accounts for about 5 percent of basketball shoe sales, a market still dominated by Michael Jordan gear.

Stock is an associate editor for Twitter: @kylestock

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