Both diesel and gasoline engines were developed in the late 19th to early 20th century. Diesel engines were for the most part of the 20th century used mostly for large applications in ships, trains, and for large vehicles such as trucks and busses, but gasoline engines remained the preferred option for personal cars during the 20th century. Only during the last decades of the 20th century did diesel engines begin to make a little bit of headroom in the personal car market. In the 80s more than 10 percent of new cars sold in Europe were diesels.
What developments in diesel engines started to make them more attractive for personal cars? What made diesel powered personal cars go from 0% in the 50s to more than 10% in the 1980s? I'm specifically interested in if there were any technical advances that made diesels more suitable for personal cars, but I'm not sure if there were any.
(NB: after the signing of the Kyoto treaty in 1997 many European countries started to promote diesel a lot, and the share of diesel personal cars increased a lot. I am not interested in this part, but in the period before governments started to promote diesel cars substantially.)