If the competition was only about cost then the Gripen would be in with a chance. As the competition encompasses both cost, capability, political considerations and by the sound of it industrial offsets then Gripen was an outsider.
On a cost perspective as mxaxai states the Gripen is not much cheaper than the other eurocanards and when you factor in capability it falls distinctly behind. The last Swiss evaluation found the following,
Note that since that expected 2015 evaluation of Gripen (what the aircraft was supposed to be in 2015 and was the E variant) the aircraft increased in empty weight by over one ton or approximately 13% heavier. For example this data was sourced from another website (but freely available info) comparing the F-16 and Gripen E at max fuel states.
Gross weight = 26,500
Mil Power = 17,155
AB = 29,588
T:W = .64/1.11
Gross weight = 25132.698
Mil Power = 13,000
AB = 22,000
T:W = .51/.87
You can see the Gripen is grossly underpowered, especially when you consider the air policing and DCA mission set that seems the priority for the Swiss and this matches with the 2008/2015 assessments conducted.
Yes there is more to a fighter selection than capability but the Gripen isn’t an order of magnitude cheaper to sustain, nor is it an order of magnitude cheaper to acquire and it will be just as expensive, if not more, to upgrade in 15 years time because there is and will remain such a small user base.